in ,


Definition: misappropriation or embezzlement of funds.


This great noun, dated back to the 18th century, stems from the Medieval Latin defalcare meaning to mow or to deduct. A different theory analyzes this noun including the letin flax meaning sickle; with the de affix meaning ‘off’ and tion suffix meaning ‘the act of’ and thus literally- cutting off with a sickle.

Why this word?

Defalcation is mainly found in the United States Bankruptcy Code, describing a category of bad acts that taint a particular debt such that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. However, there is no reason not to use it in any case of funds being transferred to a goal rather than the set one. For example (surely I was never accused of this!), spending my rent money on a new pair of shoes, is a definite act of defalcation.

How to use defalcation?

Defalcation is the act of money misuse.

The executive was charged with defalcation when he bought a new car with the company’s advertising budget

Sorry John, we would not be able to come… Jane’s defalcation of our vacation saving completely prevents it“.


What do you think?

1000 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


Leave a Reply