Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


steal thunder

steal the thunder
also steal someone’s thunder


  • take credit for someone else’s work
  • use someone else’s ideas to their own advantage
  • take success or praise away from someone
  • win praise by pre-emptying or forestall someone else’s attempt
  • to take attention away from someone else


  1. They all worked together on the project, but while submitting it, one of them stole the thunder.
  2. She did not announce the news at the party because her friend was getting married and she did not want to steal her thunder.
  3. Somebody stole my thunder by leaking the designs I had made on the internet.
  4. Sadly, stealing someone else’s thunder is a common practice in the corporate world.
  5. I had put in a lot of effort to produce a perfect analysis, but in the end, a colleague of mine stole my thunder.
  6. Since the presentation was made by him, we should let him present it, else we will be stealing his thunder.

The origin of this phrase is attributed to an English playwright John Dennis. In 1704, he had invented a new method of creating the sound of thunder and used it in his play “Appius and Virginia”. The play was unsuccessful. Shortly afterwards, the thunder method was used in a performance of Macbeth. Dennis was not pleased and said “Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder.”

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