• WordNet 3.6
    • n peculation the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to your care but actually owned by someone else
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Peculation The act or practice of peculating, or of defrauding the public by appropriating to one's own use the money or goods intrusted to one's care for management or disbursement; embezzlement. "Every British subject . . . active in the discovery of peculations has been ruined."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n peculation The act of peculating; the crime of appropriating to one's own use money or goods intrusted to one's care; embezzlement; defalcation.
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In literature:

And then, too, she had referred again to her sin of peculation.
"Birthright" by T.S. Stribling
Small peculations of course go on, but nothing serious.
"Hodge and His Masters" by Richard Jefferies
I do not intend to intimate, by the above, that all were dishonest, even in these small peculations.
"Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field" by Thomas W. Knox
Mismanagement, profusion, is too clear; peculation itself is hinted at.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII." by Arthur Mee
As to the mere financial mischief that results from domestic peculation, that too is immense from a political point of view.
"Poor Relations" by Honore de Balzac
At the Amoor I first began to hear those stories of peculation that greet every traveler in Russia.
"Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar Life" by Thomas Wallace Knox
Here, my Lords, opened a new source of plunder, peculation, and bribery, which was not neglected.
"The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
He conducted the war ill, and on his return he was prosecuted for peculation and convicted.
"Plutarch's Lives, Volume II" by Aubrey Stewart & George Long
Upon the death of Strabo, Pompeius had to defend a prosecution in respect of a charge of peculation against his father.
"Plutarch's Lives Volume III." by Plutarch
Madame loved shopping, even for its own sake, but shopping with opportunities of peculation still more.
"Uncle Silas" by J. S. LeFanu

In poetry:

Not one word or deed—not venereal sore, discoloration, privacy of
the onanist, putridity of gluttons or rum-drinkers, peculation,
cunning, betrayal, murder, seduction, prostitution, but has
results beyond death, as really as before death.
"Manhattan Streets I Saunter'd, Pondering" by Walt Whitman