Definition of defalcate in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈfalkāt/
Pronunciation: /dəˈfôlkāt/


[with object] formal
Embezzle (funds with which one has been entrusted): the officials were charged with defalcating government money
More example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /dēˌfalˈkāSHən/ Pronunciation: /dəˌfalˈkāSHən/ Pronunciation: /dēˌfôlˈkāSHən/ Pronunciation: /dəˌfôlˈkāSHən/
Example sentences
  • He was aware or ought to have been aware of such defalcations.
  • The investigation of some recent cases of defalcations has put the fear of a criminal investigation in their minds.
  • As the firm did not maintain any regular audits, the clerk's defalcations remained undetected for a long time.


Pronunciation: /-kātər/
Example sentences
  • It then ‘snowballs’ as the defalcator is forced to use funds from other closings to make the payments on the loans that were not paid off previously.
  • Gardner believed the defalcator should be permitted to return, having been sufficiently punished by his exile.
  • I hope you're having fun and have not had any mishaps with the local defalcators!


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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·fal·cate

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