, as understood in American English, is a form of political corruption
, being the unscrupulous use of a politician's authority for personal gain. Similarly, political graft occurs when funds intended for public projects are intentionally misdirected in order to maximize the benefits to private interests.
Although the conflict between public and private interests is common to all forms of corruption, the term "graft" is specific to the intentional misdirection of official funds. Although not the original usage of the term, graft in the modern context is commonly, but mistakenly, used as a blanket term for political embezzlement
, influence peddling
, or other forms of corruption. While embezzlement
and influence peddling are elements sometimes present in graft, the relationship is not deterministic.