peculate

[ pek-yuh-leyt ]
/ ˈpɛk yəˌleɪt /
|

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.

Nearby words

  1. pectous,
  2. pectus,
  3. pectus carinatum,
  4. pectus excavatum,
  5. pectus recurvatum,
  6. peculation,
  7. peculiar,
  8. peculiar institution,
  9. peculiar people,
  10. peculiarity

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for peculator

  • The Emperor had understood perfectly that his information was correct and that the principal inspector was a peculator.

    The Death of the Gods|Dmitri Mrejkowski
  • 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 man who was not a sinecurist or a peculator was pretty sure to be a profligate or a gambler.



British Dictionary definitions for peculator

peculate

/ (ˈpɛkjʊˌleɪt) /

verb

to appropriate or embezzle (public money)
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 peculator

peculate

v.

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