1. appropriate (as property entrusted to one’s care) fraudulently to one’s own use; “The accountant embezzled thousands of dollars while working for the wealthy family”
  1. Law steal or misappropriate (money placed in one's trust or belonging to the organization for which one works) she had embezzled $5,600,000 in company funds


late Middle English (in the sense ‘steal’): from Anglo-Norman French embesiler, from besiler in the same sense (compare with Old French besillier ‘maltreat, ravage’), of unknown ultimate origin. The current sense dates from the late 16th century



  1. he was charged with embezzling more than £5,000 from a country club

Similar Words: misappropriate steal rob thieve pilfer appropriate abstract defraud someone of siphon off pocket take take for oneself help oneself to line one's pockets with line one's purse with put one's hand in the till dip into the public purse commit white-collar crime commit fraud rip off filch swipe lift skim snaffle pinch nick half-inch whip nobble peculate defalcate purloin