corrupt

verb
cor·​rupt | \ kə-ˈrəpt How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \
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 competitive 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

Other Words from corrupt

Verb

corrupter or less commonly corruptor \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tər How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ noun
corruptibility \ kə-​ˌrəp-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ noun
corruptible \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adjective
corruptibly \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​blē How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adverb

Adjective

corruptly \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​lē How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adverb
corruptness \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​nəs How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ 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 On top of that, the Darkhold has had time to corrupt her, implanting the false idea that her children are in danger in a different reality. Chris Smith, BGR, 10 May 2022 And on the right as well, many parents find certain points of view too dangerous to debate; talking about transgender athletes, for example, legitimizes the gender categories these parents patently reject and believe could corrupt their children. Rachel M. Cohen, The New Republic, 28 Mar. 2022 Largely out of sight of the American people, the federal government is pushing to fundamentally corrupt the principles and practice of medicine. Kristina Rasmussen, National Review, 20 Apr. 2022 For crying out loud Twitter is a public platform that's also accessible to a lot of underaged kids, a tweet like this can corrupt someone. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 11 Feb. 2022 Yes, there are cynical corporate lobbyists looking to corrupt the tax code, but there are also plenty of decent folks lobbying their hearts out for more affordable housing or cleaner air and pulling down maybe $80,000 for their troubles. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 10 Feb. 2022 The malware has been described as destructive because the attacks are designed to corrupt the Windows OS, and render the computer inoperable. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 28 Feb. 2022 All these practices corrupt the information processing of market institutions about which neoliberal ideologues like Friedrich Hayek love to rhapsodize. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 25 Oct. 2021 Sotomayor also said politics appeared to corrupt the imposition of the death penalty in Alabama. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 3 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The enemy of Latinos, in his mind: corrupt politicians, leftist activists, cholos — and definitely not law enforcement. Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2022 In his own country that included the facts that Ireland had the greediest bankers and the most corrupt politicians in western Europe, not to mention the most powerful and repressive Catholic church. Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The New Republic, 13 Mar. 2022 The point is that certain Russian political and business elites became wealthy by supporting Mr. Putin’s corrupt system. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2022 For unclear reasons, María has been working with a band of narcos that includes the young Adán (Daniel García) — a rising gangster whose own mother, Roberta (Aida Roa), is a policewoman caught up in a corrupt system. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Feb. 2022 The film follows Dima Nikitin (Artyom Bystrov), an ordinary honest plumber who suddenly decides to face the corrupt system of local politics in order to save the lives of 800 inhabitants of an old dormitory, which is about to collapse. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 14 Jan. 2022 The Ukrainian president has undertaken several difficult reforms including cleaning up the country’s corrupt judicial system and diluting the sweeping power of the billionaire oligarchs over the economy. Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2021 Ipsos research from this year shows that 62% of French people think their politicians are corrupt and 69% believe the political system functions poorly. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Apr. 2022 Mayor Gil Ruiz said many townsfolk believed that federal and state security forces were corrupt or didn’t have the savvy or will to fight criminal groups effectively. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About corrupt

Time Traveler for corrupt

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near corrupt

corrugation

corrupt

corruptedly

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for corrupt

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrupt. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for corrupt

corrupt

verb
cor·​rupt | \ kə-ˈrəpt How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \
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 How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ noun
corruptible \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adjective
corruptibly adverb
corruption \ kə-​ˈrəp-​shən How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on corrupt

Nglish: Translation of corrupt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corrupt for Arabic Speakers

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