MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To steal or misuse money or property entrusted to one’s care.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin pecu (cattle, money). Ultimately from the Indo-European root peku- (wealth), which also gave us fee, fief, fellow, peculiar, impecunious, and pecuniary. Earliest documented use: 1715.


PERCULATE - mispronunciation of an old-style coffee pot

OPECULATE - the oil cartel missed a bond payment

PECULANTE - petty theft at the poker table