• synonyms


[dih-fal-keyt, -fawl-]
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verb (used without object), de·fal·cat·ed, de·fal·cat·ing. Law.
  1. to be guilty of defalcation.
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Origin of defalcate

1530–40; < Medieval Latin dēfalcātus (past participle of dēfalcāre to cut off), equivalent to dē- de- + falcātus; see falcate
Related formsde·fal·ca·tor, nounun·de·fal·cat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for defalcate

embezzle, misuse, plunder, misspend, swindle, bereave, raid, cheat, lose, mug, defraud, strip, divest, loot, hijack, ransack, misappropriate, pilfer, purloin, filch

Examples from the Web for defalcate

Historical Examples of defalcate

  • No one can defalcate in this particular; no one can Texas-ize and be quit of his transgressions and his onward travel.

    The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844


British Dictionary definitions for defalcate


  1. (intr) law to misuse or misappropriate property or funds entrusted to one
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Derived Formsdefalcation, noundefalcator, noun

Word Origin for defalcate

C15: from Medieval Latin dēfalcāre to cut off, from Latin de- + falx sickle
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 defalcate


1530s, "to lop off," from Medieval Latin defalcatus, past participle of defalcare (see defalcation). Modern scientific use dates from 1808.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper