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A colloquial term referring to the unlawful acquisition of public money through questionable and improper transactions with public officials.

Graft is the personal gain or advantage earned by an individual at the expense of others as a result of the exploitation of the singular status of, or an influential relationship with, another who has a position of public trust or confidence. The advantage or gain is accrued without any exchange of legitimate compensatory services.

Behavior that leads to graft includes Bribery and dishonest dealings in the performance of public or official acts. Graft usually implies the existence of theft, corruption, Fraud, and the lack of integrity that is expected in any transaction involving a public official.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

GRAFT. A figurative term in chancery practice, to designate the right of a mortgagee in premises, to which the mortgagor at the time of making the mortgage had an imperfect title, but who afterwards obtained a good title. In this case the new mortgage is considered a graft into the old stock, and, as arising in consideration of the former title. 1 Ball & Beat. 46; Id. 40; Id. 57; 1 Pow. on Mortg. 190. See 9 Mass. 34. The same principle has obtained by legislative enactment in Louisiana. If a person contracting an obligation towards another, says the Civil Code, art. 2371, grants a mortgage on property of which he is not then the owner, this mortgage shall be valid, if the debtor should ever acquire the ownership of, the property, by whatever right.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
IOWGEORDIEEXILE, Via Chronicle Live MARK SAYS: I don't think there is anything wrong with Newcastle fans aspiring to a bit more than an ungifted grafter.
The Oxfordshire-born grafter, 31, also played 200 games at Sunderland - many alongside Boro's Grant Leadbitter - before a PS3m move to the Potters in July 2009.
Reinforcements in trying to stop these big players came from forwards Thomas Spiliotis, Max Corscadden, the coach's man of the match, and Scott Moorhouse - grafter award.
Photographer Colin Jones' new book, Grafters, is full of them in a breathtaking look at working-class Britain.
He was a grafter. I have joked that if we had nothing to do as kids, Dad would make us dig a hole and fill it in.
Top tackler and grafter awards went to the team, with most improved to Rushworth and Drennan.
He was a real grafter and you knew you'd always get a run for your money, even if he might bump into one or two too good.
For the building trade, landscapers and other utilitarian uses we have introduced the 'Grafter' available as an 'off-the forecourt' truck pre- bodied as a tipper or dropside.
The international midfield grafter needed a week to recover from his exertions against England and Poland in World Cup qualifiers, and found himself axed by Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy.
Awards went to: Under 10: Harry Drennan grafter of the year; Jacob Garbutt most improved player of the year, Eleanor Smith player of the year, Max Groves sportsman of the year and Dan May players' player and top tackler.
He's a grafter, getting up and down the flank and taking on the full-back.