Definition of defalcate in US English:



[with object]formal
  • Embezzle (funds with which one has been entrusted)

    ‘the officials were charged with defalcating government money’
    • ‘Without disclosing the source of his information, he wrote to Abdullah that it had come to his notice that he had defalcated heavy amounts from the state treasury.’
    • ‘Similarly, the same official had defalcated Rs 18,000 during July and August 1998.’
    • ‘He was accused that while director of the Oil Refinery he defalcated $107 million.’
    • ‘Two people convicted of defalcating $25,000 using hacked credit card numbers have been sentenced to up to eight years in prison.’
    • ‘In the course of discharging his duties Chhaganbhai defalcated various amounts aggregating to Rs.53,000.’
    • ‘The Geelong legal firm with which he commenced his articles collapsed six months later when one of its members defalcated substantial funds.’
    • ‘This little piece of ground, which belonged to property leased to a certain William, ‘it was thought no injury to defalcate’ and include in his lease.’
    • ‘The fund consists of annual member assessments, money collected by subrogation from the defalcating lawyers and interest on the invested monies.’
    • ‘He admitted defalcating Rs.70 crore to play ‘satta,’ go on lavish foreign tours and bribe bank officials right and left.’
    • ‘Almost all officials in the country are corrupt although the amounts of money which they defalcate are various.’
    • ‘He has been a competent attorney and had a good record until he defalcated money from the estate of Birger.’
    • ‘A local Chairman and three others have been sued by the Bureau of Anti-Corruption for defalcating about Tk 1.5 lakh from the municipal fund.’
    • ‘He failed to keep insurance funds separate from agency funds and defalcated from the escrow account in the amount of approximately $400,000.’
    purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘deduct, subtract’): from medieval Latin defalcat- ‘lopped’, from the verb defalcare, from de- ‘away from, off’ + Latin falx, falc- ‘sickle’.