Dictionary.com

peculate

[ pek-yuh-leyt ]
/ ˈpɛk yəˌleɪt /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: peculate / peculation on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with or without object), pec·u·lat·ed, pec·u·lat·ing.

to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of peculate

First recorded in 1740–50; verb use of peculate “embezzlement” (now obsolete), from Latin past participle and noun pecūlātus “embezzled; embezzlement,” equivalent to pecūlā(rī) ) “to embezzle,” literally, “to make public property private” + -tus suffix of verbal action, derivative of pecu “wealth, livestock, movable property”; see origin at peculiar, -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM peculate

pec·u·la·tion, nounpec·u·la·tor, nounun·pec·u·lat·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for peculate

British Dictionary definitions for peculate

peculate
/ (ˈpɛkjʊˌleɪt) /

verb

to appropriate or embezzle (public money)

Derived forms of peculate

peculation, nounpeculator, noun

Word Origin for peculate

C18: from Latin pecūlārī, from pecūlium private property (originally, cattle); see peculiar
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
See Today's Synonym