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. verb
    appropriate (as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use
    synonyms: defalcate, embezzle, malversate, peculate
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    types:
    fiddle
    commit fraud and steal from one's employer
    type of:
    steal
    take without the owner's consent
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