embezzle

verb
em·​bez·​zle | \ im-ˈbe-zəl How to pronounce embezzle (audio) , em-\
embezzled; embezzling\ im-​ˈbe-​zə-​liŋ How to pronounce embezzling (audio) , -​ˈbez-​liŋ , em-​ \

Definition of embezzle

transitive verb

: to appropriate (something, such as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use embezzled thousands of dollars

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Other Words from embezzle

embezzlement \ im-​ˈbe-​zəl-​mənt How to pronounce embezzlement (audio) , em-​ \ noun
embezzler \ im-​ˈbe-​zə-​lər How to pronounce embezzler (audio) , em-​ , -​ˈbez-​lər \ noun

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."

Examples of embezzle in a Sentence

He was caught embezzling money from his clients. He was convicted of embezzling.

Recent Examples on the Web

While Chris helped get Gordon's first restaurant off the ground, the TV chef accused his father-in-law of embezzling more than 1.5 million pounds (roughly $2 million) and hacking into the company's computers. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'MasterChef' Star Gordon Ramsay and His Wife Tana Have Endured a Lot Together," 19 Apr. 2019 And before the vote, the United States ordered sanctions against Diosdado Cabello, a top figure in Mr. Maduro’s party, accusing him of drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering and embezzling government money. New York Times, "Nicolás Maduro Expels Top U.S. Diplomats from Venezuela," 22 May 2018 Two prison terms at Sing Sing and one in a Mexican prison for embezzling money are also part of the Flato legend. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "T&C Exclusive: The New Owner of an Iconic American Jewel is Revealed," 15 Apr. 2019 Zia was convicted in February of misusing power by embezzling some $250,000 in donations meant for an orphanage trust. Washington Post, "Bangladesh opposition leader Zia critically ill, aide says," 19 June 2018 Zia has been in jail for more than three months in the graft case for misusing power and embezzling about $250,000. Fox News, "Bangladesh Supreme Court upholds bail for opposition leader," 17 May 2018 Khrapunov’s father-in-law, former BTA Bank chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, is accused of embezzling billions of dollars from the bank and funneling the money into offshore entities. Michael R. Sisak, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit: Sater looked to launder cash through Trump projects," 25 Mar. 2019 According to a police report from the time of her 2015 arrest, Romain was accused of embezzling: $22,601 from Magnolia Distributors, which listed a business address for Jazz Gumbo, a tourist souvenir and T-shirt shops. Heather Nolan, NOLA.com, "Woman pleads guilty to embezzling $84K from French Quarter businesses," 13 Apr. 2018 It was allegedly embezzled and misused by Keino and the others. Mutwiri Mutuota, The Seattle Times, "Keino given more time to report to police in corruption case," 15 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of embezzle

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for embezzle

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

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Dictionary Entries near embezzle

embergoose

Emberiza

embetter

embezzle

Embiaria

embiggen

embiid

Statistics for embezzle

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embezzle

The first known use of embezzle was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for embezzle

embezzle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of embezzle

: to steal money that you have been trusted with

embezzle

verb
em·​bez·​zle | \ im-ˈbe-zəl How to pronounce embezzle (audio) \
embezzled; embezzling

Kids Definition of embezzle

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

embezzle

transitive verb
em·​bez·​zle | \ im-ˈbe-zəl How to pronounce embezzle (audio) \
embezzled; embezzling

Legal Definition of embezzle

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

Other Words from embezzle

embezzlement noun
embezzler noun

History and Etymology for 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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More from Merriam-Webster on embezzle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for embezzle

Spanish Central: Translation of embezzle

Nglish: Translation of embezzle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embezzle for Arabic Speakers

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