thieves' vinegar


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Thief \Thief\ (th[=e]f), n.; pl. Thieves (th[=e]vz). [OE.
   thef, theef, AS. [thorn]e['o]f; akin to OFries. thiaf, OS.
   theof, thiof, D. dief, G. dieb, OHG. diob, Icel.
   [thorn]j[=o]fr, Sw. tjuf, Dan. tyv, Goth. [thorn]iufs,
   [thorn]iubs, and perhaps to Lith. tupeti to squat or crouch
   down. Cf. Theft.]
   1. One who steals; one who commits theft or larceny. See
      Theft.
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            There came a privy thief, men clepeth death.
                                                  --Chaucer.
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            Where thieves break through and steal. --Matt. vi.
                                                  19.
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   2. A waster in the snuff of a candle. --Bp. Hall.
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   Thief catcher. Same as Thief taker.

   Thief leader, one who leads or takes away a thief.
      --L'Estrange.

   Thief taker, one whose business is to find and capture
      thieves and bring them to justice.

   Thief tube, a tube for withdrawing a sample of a liquid
      from a cask.

   Thieves' vinegar, a kind of aromatic vinegar for the sick
      room, taking its name from the story that thieves, by
      using it, were enabled to plunder, with impunity to
      health, in the great plague at London. [Eng.]
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   Syn: Robber; pilferer.

   Usage: Thief, Robber. A thief takes our property by
          stealth; a robber attacks us openly, and strips us by
          main force.
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                Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by
                night.                            --Shak.
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                Some roving robber calling to his fellows.
                                                  --Milton.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Vinegar \Vin"e*gar\, n. [OE. vinegre, F. vinaigre; vin wine (L.
   vinum) + aigre sour. See Wine, and Eager, a.]
   1. A sour liquid used as a condiment, or as a preservative,
      and obtained by the spontaneous (acetous) fermentation, or
      by the artificial oxidation, of wine, cider, beer, or the
      like.
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   Note: The characteristic sourness of vinegar is due to acetic
         acid, of which it contains from three to five per cent.
         Wine vinegar contains also tartaric acid, citric acid,
         etc.
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   2. Hence, anything sour; -- used also metaphorically.
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            Here's the challenge: . . . I warrant there's
            vinegar and pepper in't.              --Shak.
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   Aromatic vinegar, strong acetic acid highly flavored with
      aromatic substances.

   Mother of vinegar. See 4th Mother.

   Radical vinegar, acetic acid.

   Thieves' vinegar. See under Thief.

   Vinegar eel (Zool.), a minute nematode worm ({Leptodera
      oxophila}, or Anguillula acetiglutinis), commonly found
      in great numbers in vinegar, sour paste, and other
      fermenting vegetable substances; -- called also {vinegar
      worm}.

   Vinegar lamp (Chem.), a fanciful name of an apparatus
      designed to oxidize alcohol to acetic acid by means of
      platinum.

   Vinegar plant. See 4th Mother.

   Vinegar tree (Bot.), the stag-horn sumac (Rhus typhina),
      whose acid berries have been used to intensify the
      sourness of vinegar.

   Wood vinegar. See under Wood.
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