Meaning of clifty in English:


Pronunciation /?kl?fti/

verbverb clifties, verb cliftying, verb cliftied

[with object] dated, informal Australian
  • Steal or take without permission.

    • ‘he had a primus he'd cliftied from one of the officers’
    • ‘Australians called the locals thieves but were guilty of cliftying themselves’
    • ‘They had an uncanny ability to slit a tent at night in just the right spot to clifty a rifle, ammunition, or other vital equipment.’
    • ‘Every one of these items had been cliftied, and appropriately, the marquee was also illegally acquired.’
    • ‘A bust of Mussolini was cliftied by their squadron.’
    • ‘One of the mess ornaments was 'Stinky Miller', a skeleton cliftied from a museum.’
    • ‘Even the notorious striped sentry box was cliftied from the barracks under cover of glaring headlights.’
    • ‘Well, cliftying was something we picked up from the people we'd relieved.’
    purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift


Early 20th century (as clefty): probably from Greek kleptēs ‘thief’.