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peculate

[pek-yuh-leyt]
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verb (used with or without object), pec·u·lat·ed, pec·u·lat·ing.
  1. to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle.
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Origin of peculate

1740–50; v. use of peculate embezzlement (now obsolete) < Latin pecūlātus, equivalent to pecūlā(rī) to embezzle, literally, to make public property private + -tus suffix of v. action. See peculiar, -ate1
Related formspec·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. 2018

Related Words for peculation

fraud, vandalism, piracy, heist, holdup, crime, embezzlement, larceny, thievery, robbery, burglary, break-in, extortion, shoplifting, mugging, looting, misuse, misappropriation, theft, corruption

Examples from the Web for peculation

Historical Examples of peculation


British Dictionary definitions for peculation

peculate

verb
  1. to appropriate or embezzle (public money)
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Derived Formspeculation, 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

Word Origin and History for peculation

n.

1650s, noun of action from Latin peculari (see peculate).

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peculate

v.

1749, from Latin peculatus, past participle of peculari "to embezzle," from peculum "private property," originally "cattle" (see peculiar). Related: Peculated; peculating; peculator.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper