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From Middle English embesilen, from Anglo-Norman embesiler, embesillier, embeseillier (to steal, cause to disappear), from em- + Old French besillier (to torment, destroy, gouge), of unknown origin.[1]


  • (US) IPA(key): /əmˈbɛzəl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛzəl


embezzle (third-person singular simple present embezzles, present participle embezzling, simple past and past participle embezzled)

  1. (law, business) To steal or misappropriate money that one has been trusted with, especially to steal money from the organisation for which one works.
    • 1903, H.G. Wells, Twelve Stories and a Dream
      You waste your education in burglary. You should do one of two things. Either you should forge or you should embezzle. For my own part, I embezzle.
    • 1861, George Eliot, Silas Marner
      You let Dunsey have it, sir? And how long have you been so thick with Dunsey that you must collogue with him to embezzle my money?


Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ embezzle” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.