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verb cor·rupt \kə-ˈrəpt\

Simple Definition of corrupt

  • : to cause (someone or something) to become dishonest, immoral, etc.

  • : to change (something) so that it is less pure or valuable

  • : to change (a book, computer file, etc.) from the correct or original form

Full Definition of corrupt

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to change from good to bad in morals, manners, or actions; also :  bribe b :  to degrade with unsound principles or moral values

  3. 2 :  rot, spoil

  4. 3 :  to subject (a person) to corruption of blood

  5. 4 :  to alter from the original or correct form or version <the file was corrupted>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 a :  to become tainted or rotten b :  to become morally debased

  8. 2 :  to cause disintegration or ruin

cor·rupt·er also cor·rup·tor play \-ˈrəp-tər\ noun
cor·rupt·ibil·i·ty play \-ˌrəp-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
cor·rupt·ible play \-ˈrəp-tə-bəl\ adjective
cor·rupt·ibly play \-blē\ adverb

Examples of corrupt

  1. a politician corrupted by greed

  2. music that corrupts the morals of children

  3. corrupting the country's legal system

  4. the corrupting influence of power

  5. Their idealism has been corrupted by cynicism.

  6. The file has been corrupted and no longer works properly.

  7. a corrupted version of the ancient text

Origin of corrupt

Middle English, from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpere, from com- + rumpere to break — more at reave

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of corrupt

debase, vitiate, deprave, corrupt, debauch, pervert mean to cause deterioration or lowering in quality or character. debase implies a loss of position, worth, value, or dignity <commercialism has debased the holiday>. vitiate implies a destruction of purity, validity, or effectiveness by allowing entrance of a fault or defect <a foreign policy vitiated by partisanship>. deprave implies moral deterioration by evil thoughts or influences <the claim that society is depraved by pornography>. corrupt implies loss of soundness, purity, or integrity <the belief that bureaucratese corrupts the language>. debauch implies a debasing through sensual indulgence <the long stay on a tropical isle had debauched the ship's crew>. pervert implies a twisting or distorting from what is natural or normal <perverted the original goals of the institute>.

Rhymes with corrupt



adjective cor·rupt

Simple Definition of corrupt

  • : doing things that are dishonest or illegal in order to make money or to gain or keep power

  • : done or controlled by dishonest and immoral people

  • : dishonest, evil, or immoral

Full Definition of corrupt

  1. 1 a :  morally degenerate and perverted :  depraved b :  characterized by improper conduct (as bribery or the selling of favors) <corrupt judges>

  2. 2 :  putrid, tainted

  3. 3 :  adulterated or debased by change from an original or correct condition <a corrupt version of the text>

cor·rupt·ly play \-ˈrəp(t)-lē\ adverb
cor·rupt·ness play \-ˈrəp(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of corrupt

  1. The country's justice system is riddled with corrupt judges who accept bribes.

  2. corrupt cops who sell drugs

  3. the country's corrupt legal system

  4. a corrupt version of the text

  5. a corrupt computer file that no longer works properly

Origin of corrupt

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin corruptus

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of corrupt

vicious, villainous, iniquitous, nefarious, corrupt, degenerate mean highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct. vicious may directly oppose virtuous in implying moral depravity, or may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence <a vicious gangster>. villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic <a villainous assault>. iniquitous implies absence of all signs of justice or fairness <an iniquitous system of taxation>. nefarious suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct <the nefarious rackets of organized crime>. corrupt stresses a loss of moral integrity or probity causing betrayal of principle or sworn obligations <city hall was rife with corrupt politicians>. degenerate suggests having sunk to an especially vicious or enervated condition <a degenerate regime propped up by foreign powers>.

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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