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 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

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Other Words from corrupt

Verb

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

Adjective

corruptly \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​lē How to pronounce corruptly (audio) \ adverb
corruptness \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​nəs How to pronounce corruptness (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Film and art writing were corrupted so long ago by slavish fixations on the box office and the auction price that it’s now hard to imagine them otherwise. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019 At the same time as employing covert violence, Russia has been actively trying to corrupt us. Tom Tugendhat, Time, "Russia Is Now a Rogue State. We Must Treat It Like One," 15 Mar. 2018 The evidence-free accusation that illegitimate moneyed or foreign interests are corrupting her opponents and dictating U.S. policy is her modus operandi. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, "Omar and the Conspiracy Democrats," 10 Mar. 2019 Apparently, the Korvax collective is concerned that the scientist may have become corrupted by working with me. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "No Man’s Sky travel diary: responsibility," 8 Aug. 2018 Each side sought to project images of social and cultural superiority; stories of people corrupted by the decadent West or persecuted by the KGB were turned into weapons. The Economist, "The death of the archetypal Russian villain," 28 June 2018 Six years ago, Keltner and a then-graduate student in his lab, Paul Piff, published influential innovative experiments that confirmed many of our worst assumptions about the rich and the corrupting power of wealth. William Wan, The Seattle Times, "Are rich people more likely to lie, cheat, steal? Science explains the world of Manafort and Gates.," 13 Aug. 2018 After the arrests last fall, the NCAA set up a commission to study corrupting influences in college basketball. Rebecca Davis O’brien, WSJ, "Adidas Executive, Two Others Found Guilty in College-Basketball Corruption Trial," 24 Oct. 2018 Your Content is not technically harmful (including, without limitation, viruses, logic bombs, Trojan horses, worms, harmful components, corrupted data or other malicious software, harmful data or conduct). Harper's BAZAAR, "Reader Submission Terms and Community Guidelines," 13 Jan. 2015

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Many Tijuana residents already do not trust the police, viewing them largely as either inefficient or corrupt. (wendy Fry / San Diego Union-tribune), San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former Tijuana police officers posing as fake cops," 11 June 2019 Also, Mexican security forces are known for often being corrupt and shaking migrants down for bribes. Washington Post, "Mexico-US tariff deal: Questions, concerns for migration," 8 June 2019 Also, Mexican security forces are known for often being corrupt and shaking migrants down for bribes. Peter Orsi And Christopher Sherman, chicagotribune.com, "After Mexico-U.S. tariff deal, migration experts raise concerns over what it could mean," 8 June 2019 Philadelphia’s Kevin Bacon stars as a corrupt but hard-to-dislike FBI agent who teams up with a reform-minded prosecutor (Aldis Hodge, Underground) in 1990s Boston. Ellen Gray, https://www.inquirer.com, "Summer TV: 'Big Little Lies,’ ‘Stranger Things,’ a Kevin Bacon drama, and much more," 5 June 2019 Maybe the most troubling part of all this is that the Russians simply exploited our own corrupt system. Sean Illing, Vox, "Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades," 8 Dec. 2018 Instead, Phillips is taking the fight straight to Paulsen, accusing him of being an inaccessible representative caught up in a corrupt political system. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Flake & Co. try to tame partisan wildfire," 28 Sep. 2018 At the after-party following the screening at Lincoln Ristorante, the usual cocktail banter was intermixed with guests discussing Willingham’s case and the corrupt state of the criminal justice system. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Laura Dern Ignites at the Premiere of Trial by Fire," 15 May 2019 Despite calls from members of the U.S. Congress urging Trump to impose sanctions on corrupt officials in the Guatemalan government, critics say the Trump administration has turned a blind eye. Lauren Bohn, Marie Claire, "Who Killed Claudia Gomez?," 2 May 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for corrupt

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for corrupt

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

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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 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 corruptibility (audio) \ noun
corruptible \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce corruptible (audio) \ adjective
corruptibly adverb
corruption \ kə-​ˈrəp-​shən How to pronounce corruption (audio) \ noun

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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

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