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[mal-ver-sey-shuh n]
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noun Chiefly Law.
  1. improper or corrupt behavior in office, especially in public office.
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Origin of malversation

1540–50; < Middle French, equivalent to malvers(er) to embezzle (< Latin male versārī to behave badly, equivalent to male badly (see mal-) + versārī to behave, conduct oneself, passive (in middle sense) of versāre to turn; see versatile) + -ation -ation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for malversation


  1. rare professional or public misconduct
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Word Origin

C16: from French, from malverser to behave badly, from Latin male versārī
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 malversation


"professional or official corruption," 1540s, from French malversation, from malverser, from Latin male versari, from male "wrongly, ill" (see mal-) + versari "to behave, conduct oneself," passive frequentative of vertere "to turn" (see versus).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper