misappropriate

When you misappropriate something, you steal it, or otherwise use it in a way its owner didn't intend.

You might hear the phrase "to misappropriate funds" on the news — usually what this means is that someone who has access to money at work has stolen some of it. A banker might misappropriate money, for example, paying himself a bonus, or the manager of a charity might misappropriate donations, using them to buy herself a new car. Misappropriate combines the prefix mis, "bad or wrong," and appropriate, "take possession of."

Definitions of misappropriate
1

v appropriate (as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use

Synonyms:
defalcate, embezzle, malversate, peculate
Types:
fiddle
commit fraud and steal from one's employer
Type of:
steal
take without the owner's consent

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.