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Etymology 1


From Middle English besilen, from Old French besiler, besillier (to mistreat, pillage); or shortened from English embezzle.



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

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

Etymology 2


Coined by John Kenneth Galbraith, from embezzle.



bezzle (plural bezzles)

  1. (economics) The level or proportion of financial sector activity that consists of hidden embezzlement, varying in step with the business cycle.
  2. (economics) The time between when a confidence trickster has stolen money from a unsuspecting person and when that person realizes the money has been stolen.
    • 2015 December 3, Tracy Alloway, “There's Been a Bezzle-Fueled Boom in Bonds”, in Markets[1], Bloomberg News, retrieved 2021-08-16:
      That word is bezzle. It describes the period in which an embezzler has stolen a man's money but the victim does not yet realize he's been swindled.
    • 2021 August 10, Cory Doctorow, “End of the Line for Uber”, in Pluralistic[2], Cory Doctorow, retrieved 2021-08-16:
      Uber is a bezzle ("the magic interval when a confidence trickster knows he has the money he has appropriated but the victim does not yet understand that he has lost it"). Every bezzle ends.
  3. (economics) The difference between the short-term or current market value of an asset and its true long-term worth.