verb (used with object), em·bez·zled, em·bez·zling.
- to appropriate fraudulently to one’s own use, as money or property entrusted to one’s care.
- to convert (money or property entrusted to one) fraudulently to one’s own use
1660s, agent noun from embezzle.
early 15c., from Anglo-French embesiler “to steal, cause to disappear” (c.1300), from Old French em- (see en- (1)) + besillier “torment, destroy, gouge,” of unknown origin. Sense of “to dispose of fraudulently” is first recorded 1580s. Related: Embezzled; embezzling.