corrupt

verb
cor·​rupt | \ kə-ˈrəpt \
corrupted; corrupting; corrupts

Definition of corrupt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to change from good to bad in morals, manners, or actions Officials were corrupted by greed. was accused of corrupting the youth also : bribe
b : to degrade with unsound principles or moral values Some fear the merger will corrupt the competive marketplace.
2 : rot, spoil The fruits were transported without being corrupted.
3 : to subject (a person) to corruption of blood
4 : to alter from the original or correct form or version The file was corrupted.

intransitive verb

1a : to become tainted or rotten leaving the bodies to corrupt on the field
b : to become morally debased
2 : to cause disintegration or ruin

corrupt

adjective

Definition of corrupt (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : morally degenerate and perverted : depraved
b : characterized by improper conduct (such as bribery or the selling of favors) corrupt judges
3 : adulterated or debased by change from an original or correct condition a corrupt version of the text

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from corrupt

Verb

corrupter or less commonly corruptor \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tər \ noun
corruptibility \ kə-​ˌrəp-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
corruptible \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
corruptibly \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​blē \ adverb

Adjective

corruptly \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​lē \ adverb
corruptness \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for corrupt

Verb

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

Adjective

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

Examples of corrupt in a Sentence

Verb

a politician corrupted by greed music that corrupts the morals of children corrupting the country's legal system the corrupting influence of power Their idealism has been corrupted by cynicism. The file has been corrupted and no longer works properly. a corrupted version of the ancient text

Adjective

The country's justice system is riddled with corrupt judges who accept bribes. corrupt cops who sell drugs the country's corrupt legal system a corrupt version of the text a corrupt computer file that no longer works properly
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rather, the Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) will corrupt the FBI special agent, and will manipulate him into aiding him in his vendetta against Daredevil. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Bullseye joins Netflix’s Daredevil for season 3," 6 Oct. 2018 THE SWAMP Top Dem candidate who said money 'corrupts' politics donated $100G to Obama, asked for U.S. ambassadorship. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump wants White House official behind NY Times op-ed ID'd; DOJ targets conservative censorship," 6 Sep. 2018 His command of English is so weak and so corrupted by insult (loser, joke, sick, animal, ugly, rapists) that there are no words vulgar enough to describe it. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "What’s So Bad About the C-Word?," 5 June 2018 Greater than my fear of this perceived failure was the fear of allowing my validity as a trans femme to be questioned in the name of archetypes born of a social system corrupted by centuries of toxic patriarchy. Trésor Prijs, Teen Vogue, "How My Beard Affects My Gender Identity as a Trans Femme," 1 June 2018 Moreover, there are other, more direct ways that foreign money can corrupt the system, without breaking any existing laws. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "How Russian money and influence slipped through cracks in the US legal system," 25 Oct. 2018 With such allegations of Trump apparently trying to corrupt the rule of law, even some Republicans began to talk about impeachment. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Is Rod Rosenstein fired, resigning, or staying? The drama, explained.," 24 Sep. 2018 In 29 pages of bloodless prosecutorial language, Mueller sketches out a concerted and methodical effort to corrupt the American democratic process. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Truth Without Consequences," 13 July 2018 These institutions, when their survival depends on it, will pretty easily and quickly find a corporate benefactor, and this is invariably corrupting. Sean Illing, Vox, "How corporate cash bought higher education," 14 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Notable is a stratagem known to the corrupt as well as those fleeing corruption since the dawn of time: over-invoicing. WSJ, "Dogs Bite Men and Trumps Duck Taxes," 5 Oct. 2018 Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Tuesday, May 15," 15 May 2018 And as the Republican Party has become more rabidly conservative and corrupt, congressional Democrats have developed a particular culture. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 There is something sinister and corrupt—Maoist—in the habit of assigning people to categories. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "America Is Addicted to Outrage. Is There a Cure?," 30 Nov. 2018 By routing traffic through networks controlled by the attacker, BGP manipulation allows the adversary to monitor, corrupt, or modify any data that's not encrypted. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Strange snafu misroutes domestic US Internet traffic through China Telecom," 6 Nov. 2018 Public comment was often emotional and touched on accusations that the agency was uncaring and corrupt. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Central Florida toll roads proposed for Bithlo and Split Oak Forest draw public scorn," 29 June 2018 Republicans can be openly racist, nationalist, corrupt, and horny. Drew Magary, GQ, "This Is Why Trump Won," 14 June 2018 Both are corrupt, but at least one city is more honest about that. Charlotte Wilder, SI.com, "Vegas and Washington Are More Similar Hockey Towns Than You Might Think," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corrupt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of corrupt

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for corrupt

Verb

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

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin corruptus — see corrupt entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about corrupt

Statistics for corrupt

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for corrupt

The first known use of corrupt was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for corrupt

corrupt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of corrupt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

corrupt

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of corrupt (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

corrupt

verb
cor·​rupt | \ kə-ˈrəpt \
corrupted; corrupting

Kids Definition of corrupt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to change (as in morals, manners, or actions) from good to bad He believes television can corrupt children.
2 : to influence a public official in an improper way (as by a bribe)

corrupt

adjective

Kids Definition of corrupt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : behaving in a bad or improper way : doing wrong The corrupt judges will accept bribes.
2 : morally bad : evil corrupt values

corrupt

adjective
cor·​rupt | \ kə-ˈrəpt\

Legal Definition of corrupt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having an unlawful or evil motive especially : characterized by improper and usually unlawful conduct intended to secure a benefit for oneself or another (as by taking or giving bribes)

Other Words from corrupt

corruptly adjective
corruptness noun

corrupt

transitive verb

Legal Definition of corrupt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to change from good to bad in principles or moral values corrupting a minor
2 : to subject (a person) to corruption of blood

Other Words from corrupt

corruptibility \ kə-​ˌrəp-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
corruptible \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
corruptibly adverb
corruption \ kə-​ˈrəp-​shən \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on corrupt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with corrupt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for corrupt

Spanish Central: Translation of corrupt

Nglish: Translation of corrupt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corrupt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on corrupt

What made you want to look up corrupt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!