from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To misuse funds; embezzle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To misappropriate funds; to embezzle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To commit defalcation; to embezzle money held in trust.
  • transitive v. To cut off; to take away or deduct a part of; -- used chiefly of money, accounts, rents, income, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut off; take away or deduct a part of; curtail: used chiefly of money, accounts, rents, income, etc.
  • To be guilty of defalcation; default in one's accounts.
  • Curtailed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. appropriate (as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use


Medieval Latin dēfalcāre, dēfalcāt-, to mow, deduct : Latin dē-, de- + Latin falx, falc-, sickle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1530s, in sense “to lop off”, from Medieval Latin dēfalcātus, perfect passive participle of dēfalcō ("cut or lop off"), from Latin  ("off") + falx ("sickle, scythe, pruning hook"),[2] from which also English falcate ("sickle-shaped"). (Wiktionary)


  • Arab _Ar'ab_, not _arab_ arid _ar'id_ asphalt _asfalt_, not _fawlt_ bade _bad_ catch not _ketch_ defalcate _defal'kate_, not _fawl_ dilletante _dilletan'te_ forbade _forbad_ granary _granary_ program _pro'gram_, not _grum_ rapine _rap'in_ rational _rational_ sacrament _sacrament_

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • Jest like a criminal he skipped, an 'aimed to defalcate

    Rhymes of a Rolling Stone

  • An embezzler can not defalcate in Nova Scotia, lightly skip into Manitoba and put both provinces to expense and technical trouble apprehending him.

    The Canadian Commonwealth

  • He has, more than another, the exalted sentiment of honor, but is lacking in the sense of simple honesty, and, circumstances favoring him, would defalcate and commit infamies which do not trouble his conscience, for he obeys without questioning the oscillations of his ideas, which are always impulsive.

    Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant

  • No one can defalcate in this particular; no one can

    The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 Volume 23, Number 4

  • What if all he says of the state of this balance were true? did not the same objections always lie to custom-house entries? do they defalcate more from the entries of 1766 than from those of 1754?

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 01 (of 12)

  • Vocabulary words in the lyrics to Relentless Execution of Ceremonial Execrescence acephalism conglutinate defalcate effigous embryologic hecatombic hypermetropicism inanition minatory sempiternal Impetuous Ritual are the rhythm section of Portal (interviewed here).


  • This "Stimulus" Bill will defalcate the economy and defecate upon the people.

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  • Word For The Day, Thursday, February 5, 2009 - defalcate dictionaries ad nauseum, internet

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