malversation

noun
mal·​ver·​sa·​tion | \ ˌmal-vər-ˈsā-shən How to pronounce malversation (audio) \

Definition of malversation

1 : misbehavior and especially corruption in an office, trust, or commission
2 : corrupt administration

Did you know?

The form mal- is often a bad sign in a word, and malversation is no exception. In Middle French, mal- (meaning "bad," from the Latin word for "bad," malus) teamed up with verser ("to turn, handle," from the Latin verb vertere, "to turn ") to create malverser, a verb meaning "to be corrupt." This in turn led to the French noun malversation, which was adopted by English speakers in the mid-16th century. Some other mal- words that entered English from Middle French are maladroit ("inept"), malcontent ("discontented"), and maltreat ("to treat badly").

First Known Use of malversation

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for malversation

Middle French, from malverser to be corrupt, from mal + verser to turn, handle, from Latin versare, frequentative of vertere to turn — more at worth

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About malversation

Time Traveler for malversation

Time Traveler

The first known use of malversation was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About malversation

Statistics for malversation

Cite this Entry

“Malversation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malversation. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!