To steal (a small amount or item). See Synonyms at steal.(verb-transitive)
To steal or filch.(verb-intransitive)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "pilfer" in a sentence
"If I had wanted to 'pilfer' your correspondence, which was with me for some ten years, would it not have been easier (and more discreet) for me to make photocopies of the letters I wanted to keep and send you back all your originals intact?"
"First Sailosi Tagicakibau fumbled a difficult pass 10 yards out with three blue shirts around him and only one red one in front before George Stowers got to the line, but could not get the ball down, leaving Shane Williams to somehow pilfer the ball from the pile of bodies which piled on the No8."
"I can't tell you what a relief it will be to just throw away my plastic water bottles (made from petroleum products -- who cares now?) instead of tossing them into recycling for some homeless guy to pilfer."