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[dee-fal-key-shuh n, -fawl-] /ˌdi fælˈkeɪ ʃən, -fɔl-/
noun, Law.
misappropriation of money or funds held by an official, trustee, or other fiduciary.
the sum misappropriated.
Origin of defalcation
1425-75; late Middle English: deduction from wages (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin dēfalcātiōn- (stem of dēfalcātiō) a taking away, equivalent to dēfalcāt(us) (see defalcate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nondefalcation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for defalcation
Historical Examples
  • But nothing yet concerning the defalcation and disappearance of Angelo Puma.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
  • Evidently there had been a defalcation on rather a large scale.

    Miss Mehetabel's Son Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • The rumor of Elijah's defalcation had not disturbed Seymour seriously.

    The Vision of Elijah Berl Frank Lewis Nason
  • And with all this there was a defalcation traceable to Hope Mills or the Eastmans.

    Hope Mills Amanda M. Douglas
  • The steward set it on fire to conceal the defalcation in the crop.

    Black Diamonds Mr Jkai
  • I knew all about the defalcation from my father just after the meeting.

    The Quality of Mercy W. D. Howells
  • Did you read the account of the defalcation in the Events—when it first came out?

    The Quality of Mercy W. D. Howells
  • The letter purported to be an excuse for the writer's own defalcation.

    The Duke's Children

    Anthony Trollope
  • But a defalcation which occurred immediately afterwards was worse.

    The Duke's Children

    Anthony Trollope
  • Because of the defalcation of her lawyer, she is in financial straits.

    Dramatic Technique

    George Pierce Baker
Word Origin and History for defalcation

mid-15c., from Medieval Latin defalcationem (nominative defalcatio), noun of action from past participle stem of defalcare, from de- + Latin falx, falcem "sickle, scythe, pruning hook."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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