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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There’s no evidence that anything was exchanged, traded or corrupted. Gerald Porter Jr., WSJ, "Dean Skelos Retrial Expected to Head to Jury Thursday," 11 July 2018 But, before a revival of the show began its summer run in Budapest, an article on June 1 in the pro-government daily newspaper Magyar Idok accused the production of corrupting young people. Palko Karasz, New York Times, "‘Billy Elliot’ Musical Branded Gay Propaganda in Hungary; Cancellations Follow," 22 June 2018 For most of the 19th century, Hamilton was shunted aside, derided as a crass elitist intent on corrupting the republic. Jay Cost, WSJ, "The Founding Era’s Populist Moment," 8 June 2018 If all power corrupts, does female power corrupt femininely? Ruth Franklin, The Atlantic, "The Female Persuasion Should Be a Literary Breakout. Will It?," 19 Apr. 2018 The Constitution bars public officeholders from accepting payments or titles from foreign governments without approval from Congress, a clause designed to prevent officials from being corrupted. NBC News, "Judge rejects Trump request to toss lawsuit accusing him of violating Constitution," 28 Mar. 2018 He could never be corrupted by anything except his own fanaticism. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Glenn Greenwald Tells Russians Liberals Are Blaming Them As Excuse for Clinton," 9 July 2018 Trump is incorrigibly authoritarian, and the conservative habit of analyzing this conflict as if Trump is not bent on corrupting law enforcement into an authoritarian tool is a way of avoiding the central issue. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Obstructing Justice," 31 May 2018 The voter rolls are corrupted, there is no free press, and the national electoral council is a tool of the regime. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Venezuela’s Sham Election," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

One obvious reason is that there are very few outright criminals among the Indian super-rich, very few that are unapologetically corrupt in the Russian way. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "‘The Billionaire Raj’ Review: Gatsby on the Ganges," 4 July 2018 At the time, Sanchez said the PP was too corrupt to run the country. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "Who is Pedro Sanchez, Spain's soon-to-be prime minister?," 1 June 2018 There are many theories as to why New York is so corrupt. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "New York Is the Most Politically Toxic Place in America," 9 May 2018 One plea at a time, Mueller is establishing that the president* is inherently corrupt and that his candidacy and election were just two unusually successful operations in a continuing criminal enterprise. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Mueller Just Made Many More People Much More Nervous," 20 Feb. 2018 But trying to keep this information from the public is corrupt, undemocratic and arguably unlawful. Anchorage Daily News, "The FBI’s scandalous attempt to block the Nunes memo," 6 Feb. 2018 That elevator turns into a rabbit hole all the way into the corrupt heart of the corporate stranglehold, embodied by pepped-up billionaire entrepreneur Steve Lift (Armie Hammer). Katie Walsh, kansascity, "‘Sorry to Bother You’ skewers corporate and cultural corruption," 12 July 2018 An anti-purge senatorial candidate is targeted by the corrupt NFFA for assassination. refinery29.com, "Why People Either Really Love Or Hate The Purge Movies," 3 July 2018 People are mobilizing to protect local land, water, and air from pollutants and demand good governance in the face of opaque processes and corrupt corporate-government deals. Richard Denniss, Fortune, "Justin Trudeau’s Pipeline Purchase Isn’t Just Hypocritical, It’s Bad Economics," 30 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.

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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

21 Sep 2018

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 \
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

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