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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That federal lawsuit, which was appealed after being dismissed at the district court level, claims FCA tried to corrupt the bargaining process to hurt GM and force a merger. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Iacobelli's 'significant' cooperation in corruption probe cited in sentence reduction," 4 Jan. 2021 Prosecutors said that, among other things, worker training funds were misused in an effort to corrupt the bargaining process. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "FCA's controversial plan for 7 days on, 7 days off work schedule gets yanked," 26 Dec. 2020 That left linebacker Brandon Smith still in position to corrupt the play. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Rutgers vs. No. 3 Ohio State free live stream (11/7/20): How to watch, TV options, live updates, odds," 7 Nov. 2020 These are the people who Trump would have to rely on to corrupt the election, but their actions point to the opposite: integrity. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "Don't panic: Democracy is holding up," 4 Nov. 2020 Bad practice can corrupt all stages of the process. Matt Ridley, WSJ, "What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Science," 9 Oct. 2020 But the Republican majority said outside funding has the potential to corrupt an election’s integrity and lead to unequal treatment of voters. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Louisiana House votes to ban outside money from funding local election expenses," 14 Oct. 2020 Air springs and adaptive dampers are firmed up in the more aggressive settings but not sufficiently to corrupt the cabriolet's ride. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 Cabriolet Delivers Both Speed and Grace," 14 Oct. 2020 The real danger was that slavery would corrupt the devotion of Americans to their own national creed. Adam Rowe, WSJ, "‘The Zealot and the Emancipator’ Review: A Deadly Confrontation," 4 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Migrants are regularly caught up in the bloodshed when traversing the country, facing abuse from both criminal gangs and from corrupt officials who often work in tandem with the gangs, but who are almost never held accountable. Oscar Lopez, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexico arrests police officers over massacre," 4 Feb. 2021 Kroll devoted his 25 years on the board of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis to blocking every effort at reform and any effort to discipline or weed out the unfit, the corrupt, the violent, the bigoted from the force. Star Tribune, "Minneapolis police union chief Bob Kroll goes out with a whimper," 19 Jan. 2021 Trump blasted Georgia’s elections as corrupt at a Saturday rally but urged his supporters to vote for the two GOP senators anyway. Brett Pulley, Bloomberg.com, "Loeffler Refuses to Say Trump Lost in Georgia Senate Debate," 7 Dec. 2020 Many in Peru see the legislators as venal, corrupt — and responsible for adding political turmoil to the economic and public health crises the country was already facing. Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, "Peru Chooses 3rd President in a Week Amid Street Protests," 16 Nov. 2020 Talking so much about his family played into Trump’s efforts to sully Joe Biden and son Hunter as corrupt. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "Joe Biden elected next US president: Stumbles, tragedies and, now, delayed triumph," 7 Nov. 2020 Talking so much about his family played into Trump’s efforts to sully Joe Biden and son Hunter as corrupt. Bill Barrow, chicagotribune.com, "Joe Biden’s road back to the White House: Stumbles, tragedies and, now, delayed triumph," 7 Nov. 2020 He was also accused of introducing cartel leaders to other corrupt Mexican officials. Christopher Sherman And Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, "Mexico says US 'fabricated' charges, releases evidence," 15 Jan. 2021 For years, corrupt Roman officials governing the region had treated the Jews and their Temple with disdain; Jewish leaders had finally chosen to resist and in 66 had destroyed a Roman force sent to bring them in line. James Romm, The New York Review of Books, "What Happened at Masada?," 5 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for corrupt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for corrupt

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrupt. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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 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

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Comments on corrupt

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