to steal someone's thunder

Idiom Definition 1

Idiom Definition -

"to steal someone's thunder"

to do something that takes attention away from what someone else has done


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Definition 2

Idiom Definition - steal someone's thunder

"to steal someone's thunder"

to use, appropriate, or preempt the use of another's idea, especially to one's own advantage and without consent by the originator


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - steal someone's thunder

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Why are you so upset?

Friend 2:  I was going to announce that I was pregnant during the family barbecue on Saturday but my cousin announced that she was pregnant before I got the chance.

Friend 1:  She stole your thunder. What are you going to do?

Friend 2:  Wait until the next family gathering to announce my pregnancy.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - steal someone's thunder

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I think that I have to submit my ground-breaking idea to the boss.

Colleague 2:  Why don't you wait until the staff meeting and announce it in front of everyone?

Colleague 1:  Because Frank has been following my work and I am afraid he will steal my thunder.

Colleague 2:  Do you really think that Frank would appropriate your idea?

Colleague 1:  It is an ultra-competitive workplace, so, yes, he would.

to steal someone's thunder - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   420   click for frequency by country

to steal someone's thunder - Gerund Form:

Stealing your best friend's thunder at his wedding by proposing to your girlfriend is not in good taste.

Stealing the competition's thunder is standard business practice.

to steal someone's thunder - Examples:

1)  ... which hoped the release of the Note 7 would steal the thunder from the launch this week of Apple's new iPhone.

2)  ... over-saturating the market with many "me-too" titles, often trying to steal the thunder from rival studios and popular game ideas.

3)  ... away their music until the last minute so the ravenous internet doesn't steal their thunder.

4)  ... own announcements down the road. And we don't want to steal their thunder.

5)  ... will be the front-runners in the said contest or will the other candidates steal their thunder.

6)  ... say they are here to collaborate with universities and business schools, not steal their thunder, but all the while are encroaching into their territory with short executive courses, ...

7)  Britain's enterprising cities are not prepared to let the capital steal their thunder.

8)  Faber refrained from disclosing the sponsors so as not to steal their thunder ahead of the May event; ...

9)  ... rivals could beat them to press and steal their thunder.

10)  ... but I don't think he'll steal his thunder. Casey is in the background, so it doesn't matter what he does.

11)  ... discussing this issue today, I'm not going to steal his thunder, but we've managed a turn around and have a substantial amount of money ...

12)  This time, there was no one to steal his thunder, and he was named the Man of the Series.

13)  They, not wanting to steal his thunder, actually randomly picked audience members to sing with them.

14)  ... news that she was pregnant first, as she didn't want to steal her thunder. But when she realized their due dates were only four days apart, ...

15)  If there was anything that could steal her thunder, it was the eye-catching stage set design. 

16)  She didn't hire you to steal her thunder. So, figure out ways to help her succeed -- and work to make ...

17)  I was being pushed aside. I didn't want anyone else to steal my thunder

18)  ... if someone is trying to bring you down, but never let others steal your thunder or change your good mood.

19)  Hate to steal your thunder but I already suggested that a couple of weeks ago, ...

20)  Has he forgiven you for stealing his thunder and forcing him to bring forward the release of the song by 5 weeks?