Definition of embezzle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪmˈbɛz(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ɛmˈbɛz(ə)l/


[with object]
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
More example sentences
  • That seems to assume that if a solicitor's clerk embezzles money from the trust account, he is not defrauding his employer.
  • If not closely monitored, they will embezzle aid money and misappropriate resources provided by the coalition.
  • There was a case of fraud by a council official involved with the social work department, who was prosecuted for embezzling money, but this had nothing to do with the funding of Third Age.
misappropriate, steal, rob, thieve, pilfer, appropriate, abstract, defraud someone of, siphon off, pocket, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, line one's pockets/purse with;
put one's hand in the till, dip into the public purse, commit white-collar crime, commit fraud
informal rip off, filch, swipe, lift, skim, snaffle
British informal pinch, nick, half-inch, whip, nobble
formal peculate, defalcate, purloin



Pronunciation: /ɪmˈbɛz(ə)lə/
Pronunciation: /ɛmˈbɛzlə/
Example sentences
  • The question must be asked: Should one of the main architects of the Balkan wars go down in history as a convicted embezzler or a convicted war criminal?
  • All criminals, I suppose, in one sense, are a danger to the community - embezzlers just as much as child molesters.
  • This problem appears to demonstrate intent to manipulate elections, and was installed in the program under the watch of a programmer who is a convicted embezzler.


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.

Words that rhyme with embezzle


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: em|bez¦zle

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