- to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle.
Origin of peculate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for peculator
The man who was not a sinecurist or a peculator was pretty sure to be a profligate or a gambler.Modern Leaders: Being a Series of Biographical Sketches
As Finlay points out in his thoughtful history of Greece, Belisarius must have been a peculator on a large and dangerous scale.Gibbon
James Cotter Morison
The Emperor had understood perfectly that his information was correct and that the principal inspector was a peculator.The Death of the Gods
- to appropriate or embezzle (public money)
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 peculator
1749, from Latin peculatus, past participle of peculari "to embezzle," from peculum "private property," originally "cattle" (see peculiar). Related: Peculated; peculating; peculator.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper