[ em-bez-uhl ]
/ ɛmˈbɛz əl /

verb (used with object), em·bez·zled, em·bez·zling.

to appropriate fraudulently to one's own use, as money or property entrusted to one's care.

Nearby words

  1. ember days,
  2. ember goose,
  3. ember week,
  4. embergoose,
  5. emberizine,
  6. embezzlement,
  7. embezzler,
  8. embiid,
  9. embiotocid,
  10. embitter

Origin of embezzle

1375–1425; late Middle English embesilen < Anglo-French embeseiller to destroy, make away with, equivalent to em- em-1 + beseiller, Old French beseiller to destroy < ?

Related formsem·bez·zle·ment, nounem·bez·zler, nounnon·em·bez·zle·ment, nounun·em·bez·zled, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for embezzle

British Dictionary definitions for embezzle


/ (ɪmˈbɛzəl) /


to convert (money or property entrusted to one) fraudulently to one's own use
Derived Formsembezzlement, nounembezzler, noun

Word Origin for embezzle

C15: from Anglo-French embeseiller to destroy, from Old French beseiller to make away with, of uncertain origin

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 embezzle



early 15c., from Anglo-French embesiler "to steal, cause to disappear" (c.1300), from Old French em- (see en- (1)) + besillier "torment, destroy, gouge," of unknown origin. Sense of "to dispose of fraudulently" is first recorded 1580s. Related: Embezzled; embezzling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper