Meaning of defalcate in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdiːfalkeɪt/

See synonyms for defalcate on


[with object] formal
  • Embezzle (funds with which one has been entrusted)

    ‘the officials were charged with defalcating government money’
    • ‘This little piece of ground, which belonged to property leased to a certain William, ‘it was thought no injury to defalcate’ and include in his lease.’
    • ‘He has been a competent attorney and had a good record until he defalcated money from the estate of Birger.’
    • ‘In the course of discharging his duties Chhaganbhai defalcated various amounts aggregating to Rs.53,000.’
    • ‘The Geelong legal firm with which he commenced his articles collapsed six months later when one of its members defalcated substantial funds.’
    • ‘Without disclosing the source of his information, he wrote to Abdullah that it had come to his notice that he had defalcated heavy amounts from the state treasury.’
    • ‘Almost all officials in the country are corrupt although the amounts of money which they defalcate are various.’
    • ‘The fund consists of annual member assessments, money collected by subrogation from the defalcating lawyers and interest on the invested monies.’
    • ‘He was accused that while director of the Oil Refinery he defalcated $107 million.’
    • ‘Two people convicted of defalcating $25,000 using hacked credit card numbers have been sentenced to up to eight years in prison.’
    • ‘He admitted defalcating Rs.70 crore to play ‘satta,’ go on lavish foreign tours and bribe bank officials right and left.’
    • ‘A local Chairman and three others have been sued by the Bureau of Anti-Corruption for defalcating about Tk 1.5 lakh from the municipal fund.’
    • ‘He failed to keep insurance funds separate from agency funds and defalcated from the escrow account in the amount of approximately $400,000.’
    • ‘Similarly, the same official had defalcated Rs 18,000 during July and August 1998.’
    purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘deduct, subtract’): from medieval Latin defalcat- ‘lopped’, from the verb defalcare, from de- ‘away from, off’ + Latin falx, falc- ‘sickle’.