Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for defalcation
Historical Examples
  • "My uncle was not down here this morning," Maude would say:—and then she would go on to excuse the defalcation.

    Kept in the Dark Anthony Trollope
  • Evidently there had been a defalcation on rather a large scale.

    Miss Mehetabel's Son Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • You don't mean that this is the blackguard who wrote that account of the defalcation in the Events?

    The Quality of Mercy W. D. Howells
  • But nothing yet concerning the defalcation and disappearance of Angelo Puma.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
  • The only distinct cause assigned by M. de St Priest, for his defalcation in the lists, is the Arragonese version.

  • The rumor of Elijah's defalcation had not disturbed Seymour seriously.

    The Vision of Elijah Berl Frank Lewis Nason
  • The defalcation—if Cowperwood's failure made Stener's loan into one—could be concealed long enough, Mollenhauer thought, to win.

    The Financier Theodore Dreiser
  • The national treasury suffered during the revolt a defalcation of some fifty thousand pesos.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 2 Willis Fletcher Johnson
  • What, then, was the cause of Griffo's defalcation, and who had inspired him to this signal piece of treachery?

    The God of Love Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • He would either win a considerable stake or have sufficient in hand to cover up his defalcation.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for defalcation

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for defalcation

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for defalcation