- to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle.
Origin of peculate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for peculate
No man ever paid a bribe for the handling of the public money, but to peculate from it.
- to appropriate or embezzle (public money)
C18: from Latin pecūlārī, from pecūlium private property (originally, cattle); see peculiar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for peculate
1749, from Latin peculatus, past participle of peculari "to embezzle," from peculum "private property," originally "cattle" (see peculiar). Related: Peculated; peculating; peculator.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper