verb (used with object)

to deprive (someone) of something, as by fraud, extortion, etc.; swindle.
to obtain (money or the like) by fraud, extortion, etc.
to punish (a person) by fine, especially for a misdemeanor.


a fine, especially for a misdemeanor.

Origin of mulct

First recorded in 1475–85, mulct is from the Latin word mul(c)ta penalty involving loss of property
Related formsun·mulct·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mulct

Historical Examples of mulct

  • The entire business is carried on to catch and mulct tourists.

    Paris Vistas

    Helen Davenport Gibbons

  • If he come into debt by Contract, or Mulct, the case is the same.


    Thomas Hobbes

  • It is too early yet to say what the result of the “mulct” Act will be.

  • The offence that held 1500 soldiers in check was met by a mulct of two half-crowns.


    David W. Bone

  • The mulct to be imposed upon the parish of Epinal was never exacted.

British Dictionary definitions for mulct


verb (tr)

to cheat or defraud
to fine (a person)


a fine or penalty

Word Origin for mulct

C15: via French from Latin multa a fine
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 mulct

late 15c., "to punish by a fine," from Middle French mulcter "to fine, punish" (15c.), from Latin mulctare, altered (Barnhart calls it "false archaism") from multare "punish, to fine," from multa "penalty, fine," perhaps from Oscan or Samnite [Klein]. Sense of "defraud" is first recorded 1748. Related: Mulcted; mulcting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper