[ pek-yuh-leyt ]
/ ˈpɛk yəˌleɪt /
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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.
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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 peculatepec·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. 2023
How to use peculate in a sentence
The money went into the pockets of the Admiralty clerks and paymasters, who thrived on wholesale and shameless peculation.The Portsmouth Road and Its Tributaries|Charles G. Harper
But it was strongly rumoured that there had been foul play, peculation, even forgery.The History of England from the Accession of James II.|Thomas Babington Macaulay
She replied that if his Highness's presents were accounted to her as peculation, she had been guilty.A German Pompadour|Marie Hay
This irregular mode of life had borne hard upon my finances, and I had not, as yet, had recourse to fraud or peculation.
He was left by Mr. Hastings as his representative of peculation, his representative of tyranny.
British Dictionary definitions for peculate
/ (ˈpɛkjʊˌleɪt) /
to appropriate or embezzle (public money)
Derived forms of peculatepeculation, 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