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[dee-fal-key-shuh n, -fawl-]
See more synonyms for defalcation on Thesaurus.com
noun Law.
  1. misappropriation of money or funds held by an official, trustee, or other fiduciary.
  2. the sum misappropriated.
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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 formsnon·de·fal·ca·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for defalcation

flaw, weakness, failing, imperfection, dearth, paucity, deficiency, insufficiency, incapacity, shortcoming, ineffectiveness, ineptitude, inefficiency, loss, liquidation, disaster, insolvency, default, failure, lack

Examples from the Web for defalcation

Historical Examples of defalcation

  • 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.

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper