embezzle

play
verb em·bez·zle \im-ˈbe-zəl, em-\

Definition of embezzle

embezzled

;

embezzling

play \im-ˈbe-z(ə-)liŋ, em-\
  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to appropriate (something, such as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use embezzled thousands of dollars

embezzlement

play \im-ˈbe-zəl-mənt, em-\ noun

embezzler

play \im-ˈbe-z(ə-)lər, em-\ noun

embezzle was our Word of the Day on 05/17/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of embezzle in a Sentence

  1. He was caught embezzling money from his clients.

  2. He was convicted of embezzling.

Recent Examples of embezzle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embezzle'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

English has a lot of verbs that mean to steal - some more specific than others. "Pilfer," "purloin," "rob," "swipe," "plunder," "filch," and "thieve" are some noted examples. "Embezzle" differs from these by stressing the improper appropriation of property to which a person is entrusted - often in the form of company funds. First appearing in English in the 15th century, embezzle derives via Middle English from the Anglo-French embesiller, meaning "to make away," formed from the prefix en- and the verb besiller, meaning "to steal or plunder." Related to "embezzle" is "bezzle," a verb used in some British English dialects to mean "to waste or plunder" or "to drink or eat to excess."

Origin and Etymology of embezzle

Middle English embesilen, from Anglo-French embesiller to make away with, from en- + besiller to steal, plunder


EMBEZZLE Defined for English Language Learners

embezzle

play
verb

Definition of embezzle for English Language Learners

  • : to steal money that you have been trusted with


EMBEZZLE Defined for Kids

embezzle

play
verb em·bez·zle \im-ˈbe-zəl\

Definition of embezzle for Students

embezzled

;

embezzling

  1. :  to steal (money or property) despite being entrusted to take care of it The banker embezzled money from his customers.


Law Dictionary

embezzle

play
transitive verb em·bez·zle \im-ˈbe-zəl\

Legal Definition of embezzle

embezzled

embezzling

  1. :  to convert (property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use — compare defalcate

embezzlement

noun

embezzler

noun

Origin and Etymology of embezzle

Anglo-French embeseiller to make away with, from en-, prefix stressing completion + beseller to snatch, misappropriate, from Old French, to destroy


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