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Etymology 1[edit]

Old French besillier, besiler (to maltreat, pillage); or shortened from English embezzle.


bezzle (third-person singular simple present bezzles, present participle bezzling, simple past and past participle bezzled)

  1. (obsolete) To plunder; to lay waste to, in riot.
  2. (obsolete) To drink to excess; to revel.

Etymology 2[edit]

Coined by John Kenneth Galbraith.


bezzle (uncountable)

  1. (economics) The level or proportion of financial sector activity that consists of hidden embezzlement, varying in step with the business cycle.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for bezzle in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)