[ 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.

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 < ?


em·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. 2020

Examples from the Web for embezzlement

British Dictionary definitions for embezzlement

/ (ɪmˈbɛzəl) /


to convert (money or property entrusted to one) fraudulently to one's own use

Derived forms of embezzle

embezzlement, 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

Cultural definitions for embezzlement


The stealing of money entrusted to one's care: “The treasurer of the company embezzled a million dollars.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.