1

corrupt

verb cor·rupt \ kə-ˈrəpt \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of corrupt

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

corrupter

or less commonly corruptor play \kə-ˈrəp-tər\ noun

corruptibility

play \kə-ˌrəp-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

corruptible

play \kə-ˈrəp-tə-bəl\ adjective

corruptibly

play \kə-ˈrəp-tə-blē\ adverb

Examples of corrupt in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of corrupt from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of corrupt

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

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

2

corrupt

adjective

Definition of corrupt

1 a : 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

corruptly

play \kə-ˈrəp(t)-lē\ adverb

corruptness

play \kə-ˈrəp(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of corrupt in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of corrupt from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of corrupt

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

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

CORRUPT Defined for English Language Learners

corrupt

verb

Definition of corrupt for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of corrupt for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

corrupt

verb cor·rupt \ kə-ˈrəpt \

Definition of corrupt for Students

corrupted; corrupting
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)

2

corrupt

adjective

Definition of corrupt for Students

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

Law Dictionary

1

corrupt

adjective cor·rupt \ kə-ˈrəpt \

legal Definition of corrupt

: 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)

corruptly

adjective

corruptness

noun

2

corrupt

transitive verb

legal Definition of corrupt

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

corruptibility

play \kə-ˌrəp-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

corruptible

play \kə-ˈrəp-tə-bəl\ adjective

corruptibly

adverb

corruption

play \kə-ˈrəp-shən\ noun


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