Definition of steal someone's thunder in English:

Share this entry

steal someone's thunder

Win praise for oneself by pre-empting someone else’s attempt to impress.
From an exclamation by the English dramatist John Dennis (1657–1734), who invented a method of simulating the sound of thunder as a theatrical sound effect and used it in an unsuccessful play. Shortly after his play came to the end of its short run he heard his new thunder effects used at a performance of Macbeth, whereupon he is said to have exclaimed: ‘Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder!’
Example sentences
  • However, in an apparent copycat career move, Lindsay is also recording her own debut album, which some say is another attempt to steal Duff 's thunder.
  • But senior officers stole their thunder by revealing for the first time estimates of the funding needed for the new centre.
  • However, Mosley stole their thunder by confronting them with a number of new proposals as soon as the official meeting began.
See parent entry: steal
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.