from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of peculating; the crime of appropriating to one's own use money or goods intrusted to one's care; embezzlement; defalcation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act or practice of peculating, or of defrauding the public by appropriating to one's own use the money or goods intrusted to one's care for management or disbursement; embezzlement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law The wrongful appropriation or embezzlement of shared or public property, usually by a person entrusted with the guardianship of that property.

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

  • noun the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to your care but actually owned by someone else


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin peculatus ("embezzlement"), from past participle stem of peculor ("to defraud the public"), related to peculium ("property in cattle", "private property"), from pecu ("cattle", "money").


  • S peculation is rampant that Bush is preparing to nominate Sam Alito of the U.S.

    Is That Legal?: Supreme Court Archives

  • The nabobs, as they were called -- the company's servants and directors who survived the appalling climate and who returned to England after a few years with immense fortunes wrung by extortion and peculation from the Indian princes and the Indian trade.

    Some Aspects of the Public Service

  • A Persian who has spent his life in peculation, or in amassing wealth by interest at 100 per cent., or even 200 at times, when his days are closing, resolves to win heaven and a good reputation by relieving the thirst of his fellow-citizens in the above way.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • Yesterday's term was peculation, which is defined as:

    Define That Term #5

  • Hence according to the present judgment the pain of death is not inflicted for theft which does not inflict an irreparable harm, except when it is aggravated by some grave circumstance, as in the case of sacrilege which is the theft of a sacred thing, of peculation, which is theft of common property, as

    Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province

  • He, however, transmitted to the government at Calcutta a partial representation of the state of the provinces, the substance of which was, that the natives were exposed to every kind of peculation, and that the country was in a horrible state of confusion and disorder.

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 11 (of 12)

  • "For the latter part of the power of the prerogative, or that whereby they are the supreme judicatory of this nation, and of the provinces of the same, the cognizances of crimes against the majesty of the people, such as high treason, as also of peculation, that is, robbery of the treasury, or defraudation of the commonwealth, appertains to this tribe.

    The Commonwealth of Oceana

  • That record is a perfect hole of peculation, insane risks, and the warped allocation of capital.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Worst Option, Except for All the Others

  • Mr. McLynn is as unsparing of the senior commanders in Burma as they were of each other: The "mentally unstable" Wingate is posthumously diagnosed with bipolar disorder; Chennault suffered from "monomania," was "essentially false" and "joined in the Chinese elite's corruption and peculation with avidity"; Chiang is described as having given his second wife a nasty venereal disease on their wedding night.

    Still Forgotten

  • “And not only do they lie; they lie not for the everyday, ordinary purposes of men, to conceal peculation, addiction, or a stance overly wide; no!”

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “Of All the Liars, That Have Ever Lived, Since Lying Was First Invented, [Members of the Other Party] Are the Greatest Liars”


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  • A white-tie way to say "embezzlement".

    August 26, 2008

  • ...I declared myself in serious terms a decided enemy to all peculation and underhand dealing.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 7 ch. 15

    October 2, 2008

  • from Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution

    March 6, 2011