peculation n : the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to your care but actually owned by someone else [syn: embezzlement, defalcation, misapplication, misappropriation]
EtymologyLatin, from peculat-, past participle stem of peculari, related to peculium ‘property in cattle, private property’, from pecu ‘cattle, money’.
- The wrongful appropriation of shared or public property, especially by a person entrusted with the guardianship of that property
- In the law, embezzlement of public or
- 1989: She considered herself engaged to be married to a Scotch propaganda officer who had been dismissed for peculation and gone home to sell cars. — Anthony Burgess, The Devil's Mode