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Plunder vs. Pillage: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Plunder refers to the act of stealing goods, especially during war or violence, while pillage specifically denotes the act of looting or robbing goods by force, often during war or civil unrest.
Plunder vs. Pillage

Key Differences

Plunder involves stealing goods, typically through force or violence, often during conflicts or in chaotic situations. Pillage, on the other hand, specifically refers to the act of looting or robbing a place or community, usually during war or conflict.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023
Plunder can be committed by individuals or small groups and does not necessarily involve widespread destruction. In contrast, pillage often implies a systematic raid on a large scale, usually by an invading or conquering force.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023
The term plunder is used broadly to describe theft or robbery under adverse conditions. Pillage, however, is more specifically associated with war crimes or military misconduct.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023
Plunder can occur in various contexts, not limited to wartime scenarios, whereas pillage is predominantly a wartime activity, involving the looting of cities, towns, or villages.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023
While plunder can be a part of pillage, the latter term implies a more organized and large-scale action, often sanctioned by military or political leaders.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Stealing goods by force
Robbing with violence, especially in war
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Scale

Can be individual or small scale
Usually large scale and systematic
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Context

Broad, not limited to war
Predominantly during war or conflict
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Association

General theft or robbery
Often linked with war crimes
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Intensity

Can occur without widespread destruction
Implies widespread destruction
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Plunder and Pillage Definitions

Plunder

Stealing valuable items in a time of disorder.
After the earthquake, some people began to plunder abandoned homes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Pillage

To strip ruthlessly of money or goods by open violence.
The medieval village was pillaged by the marauding bandits.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Plunder

Robbery or theft during chaos or conflict.
The city was plundered during the uprising.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Pillage

The act of looting during warfare.
Pillage was common in ancient warfare.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Plunder

To steal goods forcibly.
Pirates were known to plunder merchant ships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023
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Pillage

The practice of looting or plundering in a war situation.
Historically, pillage was a way to finance war efforts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Plunder

To rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; pillage
Plunder a village.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

To rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; plunder.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

To seize wrongfully or by force; steal
Plundered the supplies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

To take as spoils.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

To take booty; rob.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

To take spoils by force.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

The act or practice of plundering.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

The act of pillaging.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

Property stolen by fraud or force; booty.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

Something pillaged; spoils.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

(transitive) To pillage, take or destroy all the goods of, by force (as in war); to raid, sack.
The mercenaries plundered the small town.
The shopkeeper was plundered of his possessions by the burglar.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

(ambitransitive) To loot or plunder by force, especially in time of war.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

(transitive) To take (goods) by pillage.
The mercenaries plundered all the goods they found.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

The spoils of war.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

(intransitive) To take by force or wrongfully; to commit robbery or looting, to raid.
“Now to plunder, mateys!” screamed a buccaneer, to cries of “Arrgh!” and “Aye!” all around.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

The act of pillaging.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

(transitive) To make extensive (over)use of, as if by plundering; to use or use up wrongfully.
The miners plundered the jungle for its diamonds till it became a muddy waste.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

The act of pillaging; robbery.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

(transitive) To take unexpectedly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

That which is taken from another or others by open force, particularly and chiefly from enemies in war; plunder; spoil; booty.
Which pillage they with merry march bring home.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

An instance of plundering.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

To strip of money or goods by open violence; to plunder; to spoil; to lay waste; as, to pillage the camp of an enemy.
Mummius . . . took, pillaged, and burnt their city.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

The loot attained by plundering.
The Hessian kept his choicest plunder in a sack that never left his person, for fear that his comrades would steal it.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

To take spoil; to plunder; to ravage.
They were suffered to pillage wherever they went.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

Baggage; luggage.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

Goods or money obtained illegally
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

To take the goods of by force, or without right; to pillage; to spoil; to sack; to strip; to rob; as, to plunder travelers.
Nebuchadnezzar plunders the temple of God.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

The act of stealing valuable things from a place;
The plundering of the Parthenon
His plundering of the great authors
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

To take by pillage; to appropriate forcibly; as, the enemy plundered all the goods they found.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

Steal goods; take as spoils;
During the earthquake people looted the stores that were deserted by their owners
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

The act of plundering or pillaging; robbery. See Syn. of Pillage.
Inroads and plunders of the Saracens.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

To loot or rob by force, especially in war.
The army was notorious for pillaging the countryside.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Plunder

That which is taken by open force from an enemy; pillage; spoil; booty; also, that which is taken by theft or fraud.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pillage

Robbery or theft in a violent manner during conflict.
Invading forces pillaged the town.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Plunder

Personal property and effects; baggage or luggage.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

Goods or money obtained illegally
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

Take illegally; of intellectual property;
This writer plundered from famous authors
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

Plunder (a town) after capture;
The barbarians sacked Rome
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

Steal goods; take as spoils;
During the earthquake people looted the stores that were deserted by their owners
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

Destroy and strip of its possession;
The soldiers raped the beautiful country
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plunder

To take goods by force.
Invaders plundered the village.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Plunder

The act of looting during conflict.
Soldiers were accused of plundering the conquered town.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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