"take goods or valuable forcibly from, take by pillage or open force," 1630s, from German plündern, from Middle High German plunderen "to plunder," originally "to take away household furniture," from plunder (n.) "household goods, clothes," also "lumber, baggage" (14c.; compare Modern German Plunder "lumber, trash"), which is related to Middle Dutch plunder "household goods;" Frisian and Dutch plunje "clothes." A word said to have been acquired by neighboring languages from German during the Thirty Years' War, "in which many foreign mercenaries were engaged, and much plundering was done" [Century Dictionary]. Applied in native use after the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. Related: Plundered; plundering. Plunderbund was a U.S. colloquial word from 1914 referring to "a corrupt alliance of corporate and financial interests," with German Bund "alliance, league."
"goods taken from an enemy by force; act or action of plundering," 1640s, from plunder (v.).