malversation

play
noun mal·ver·sa·tion \ ˌmal-vər-ˈsā-shən \

Definition of malversation

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

malversation was our Word of the Day on 02/02/2014. Hear the podcast!

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").

Origin and Etymology of 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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up malversation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!