9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[em-bez-uh l] /ɛmˈbɛz əl/
verb (used with object), embezzled, embezzling.
to appropriate fraudulently to one's own use, as money or property entrusted to one's care.
Origin of embezzle
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English embesilen < Anglo-French embeseiller to destroy, make away with, equivalent to em- em-1 + beseiller, Old French beseiller to destroy < ?
Related forms
embezzlement, noun
embezzler, noun
nonembezzlement, noun
unembezzled, adjective
misappropriate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for embezzlement
  • King was charged with one count of theft and embezzlement and eight counts of money laundering.
  • The jury then returned into court nine indictments for embezzlement for public money.
  • Among the alleged or admitted crimes: stealing federal funds, helping drug dealers and embezzlement.
  • Using an elaborate method to conceal her embezzlement from her employer, she was able to avoid audit detections of the company.
  • embezzlement is stealing and stealing is a crime, specifically, a form of larceny.
  • He was indicted on five counts of embezzlement and three counts of obtaining.
  • The affair began with an investigation into embezzlement.
  • Say, bank vice presidents who have blundered into embezzlement.
  • NJ, printing company, referred incorrectly in some copies to the length of his sentence on embezzlement charges.
  • Cross had pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement.
British Dictionary definitions for embezzlement


to convert (money or property entrusted to one) fraudulently to one's own use
Derived Forms
embezzlement, noun
embezzler, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Anglo-French embeseiller to destroy, from Old French beseiller to make away with, of uncertain origin
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
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Word Origin and History for embezzlement

1540s, from embezzle + -ment.



early 15c., from Anglo-French embesiler "to steal, cause to disappear" (c.1300), from Old French em- (see en- (1)) + besillier "torment, destroy, gouge," of unknown origin. Sense of "to dispose of fraudulently" is first recorded 1580s. Related: Embezzled; embezzling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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embezzlement in Culture

embezzlement definition

The stealing of money entrusted to one's care: “The treasurer of the company embezzled a million dollars.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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