verb (used with object), verb (used without object), peculated, peculating.
to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle.

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

peculation, noun
peculator, noun
unpeculating, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
peculate (ˈpɛkjʊˌleɪt)
to appropriate or embezzle (public money)
[C18: from Latin pecūlārī, from pecūlium private property (originally, cattle); see peculiar]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1749, from L. peculatus, pp. of peculari "to embezzle," from peculum "private property" (see peculiar).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
For a hundred years that has been an almost unbroken record of fraud and peculation.
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