Definition of embezzle in English:



  • Steal or misappropriate (money placed in one's trust or belonging to the organization for which one works)

    ‘she had embezzled £5,600,000 in company funds’
    • ‘She thought that ‘somebody was dipping their hands in the pot,’ as she put it, and embezzling her money.’
    • ‘You have no future, and you further endanger that slight chance of having one by consorting with dirty little horrors and embezzling money from company funds.’
    • ‘There was a case of fraud by a council official involved with the social work department, who was prosecuted for embezzling money, but this had nothing to do with the funding of Third Age.’
    • ‘You may, possibly, seduce their wives, embezzle their money, and steal their parking space, without so much as a murmur of reproof.’
    • ‘Who knows if they have embezzled money from that cause, as they seem to have been on a trail of descent, corruption, murder and more… serious questions should be asked!’
    • ‘The system would only be seen to be working if donor organizations embezzling funds were singled out and punished, he said.’
    • ‘Then, what happened was that he was impressed by the monarchies and the military regimes, and he was jealous of them staying in power for tens of years, embezzling the public money without any accountability.’
    • ‘Yet he was unreliable, twice failing to act on the king's commission, and twice charged with embezzling customs money.’
    • ‘Peron represented himself as a leader for the common people, however his administration embezzled funds stole from the workers.’
    • ‘Soong has said he never embezzled money, and his campaign has argued that Lien has much in common with Marcos, because both married beauty queens.’
    • ‘Bolanos said his two predecessors had motivated the legislature to impeach him because he would not allow them to embezzle government money.’
    • ‘If not closely monitored, they will embezzle aid money and misappropriate resources provided by the coalition.’
    • ‘That seems to assume that if a solicitor's clerk embezzles money from the trust account, he is not defrauding his employer.’
    • ‘In the real world, no hedge fund or other large trader actually ‘loots’ a fund, embezzles assets, or engages in other clear-cut forms of larceny.’
    • ‘When I first raised the issue of deferred sentences, it was about a woman who had embezzled money from her employer.’
    • ‘But why didn't Soong hand over the money to his successor if he did not have any intention of embezzling the money?’
    • ‘They were generally egocentric, were big spenders and worked for their employers for longer than five years before they started embezzling money.’
    • ‘They lie to friends, they steal, they have delinquent behaviour, they embezzle money, do whatever it takes in order to keep gambling.’
    • ‘Paige speculates that Philip could have embezzled the money and forged documents to implicate Gail and throw authorities off of his trail.’
    • ‘They've embezzled money from a company - I had one example of a gentleman who didn't want his wife to know that he was going to a massage parlour every Friday.’
    misappropriate, steal, rob, thieve, pilfer, appropriate, abstract, defraud someone of, siphon off, pocket, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, line one's pockets with, line one's purse with
    put one's hand in the till, dip into the public purse, commit white-collar crime, commit fraud
    rip off, filch, swipe, lift, skim, snaffle
    pinch, nick, half-inch, whip, nobble
    peculate, defalcate, purloin
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘steal’): from Anglo-Norman French embesiler, from besiler in the same sense (compare with Old French besillier maltreat, ravage), of unknown ultimate origin. The current sense dates from the late 16th century.