Dictionary Definition



1 the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to your care but actually owned by someone else [syn: embezzlement, peculation, defalcation, misapplication]
2 wrongful borrowing; "his explanation was a misappropriation of sociological theory"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The wrongful, fraudulent or corrupt use of other's funds in one's care.


Extensive Definition

In law, misappropriation is the intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of another person for one's own use or other unauthorized purpose, particularly by a public official, a trustee of a trust, an executor or administrator of a dead person's estate or by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect another's assets (a fiduciary duty). It is a felony, a crime punishable by a prison sentence.
Misappropriation does not occur in instances where the capital was obtained for a service rendered.
In scientific research, misappropriation is a type of research misconduct. An investigator, scholar or reviewer can obtain novel ideas during the process of the exchange of ideas amongst colleagues and peers. However, improper use of such information could constitute fraud. This can include plagiarism of work or to make use of any information in breach of any duty of confidentiality associated with the review of manuscripts or grant applications.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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