verb (used with or without object), peculated, peculating.
1. to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle.
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Origin: 1740-50; v. use of peculate embezzlement (now obsolete) < Latin pecūlātus, equivalent to pecūlā(rī) to embezzle, literally, to make public property private + -tus suffix of v. action. See peculiar, -ate
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