Etymology
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cutpurse (n.)

also cut-purse, "one who steals by the method of cutting purses, a common practice when men wore their purses at their girdles" [Johnson], mid-14c., cutte-purs, from the verbal phrase, from cut (v.) + purse (n.). The word continued after the method switched to picking pockets.

updated on June 09, 2018

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Definitions of cutpurse from WordNet

cutpurse (n.)
a thief who steals from the pockets or purses of others in public places;
Synonyms: pickpocket / dip
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.