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 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 Democrats’ insistence on redeeming pre-Trump Republicans will corrupt the party’s agenda and spoil the chance for real social reform. Eoin Higgins, The New Republic, "The Bush Rehabilitation Trap," 1 Sep. 2020 If a spacecraft were to accidentally spill microbes on Mars, for example, then that would corrupt future missions to find life on the planet. Max G. Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Discover Exposed Bacteria Can Survive in Space for Years," 26 Aug. 2020 Teams took the tool and immediately set to work corrupting it. Dallas News, "‘It’s been a pretty crazy week’: MLB needs to fix the latest bugs in the system. Here are some common-sense suggestions.," 17 Jan. 2020 In the nascent American Republic, where some humans could vote and most others were in coverture to their voting husbands or were the property of those men, the notion of majority representation was corrupted a priori. Shannon Pufahl, The New York Review of Books, "Numbering the Dead," 21 Apr. 2020 The Colour Out of Space,’ where somehow the natural world has been corrupted and mutated by some sort of cosmic influence, some sort of otherworldly presence that’s caused logic and sense to break down and is driving people mad. Geek's Guide To The Galaxy, WIRED, "Richard Stanley’s ‘Color Out of Space’ Is a Triumphant Return," 18 Apr. 2020 This is to ensure that decisions are made based on knowledge and that civil servants are not corrupted by politicking. Heba Habib, The Christian Science Monitor, "With science and shared values, Sweden charts own pandemic course," 27 Apr. 2020 This irreverent, gleefully violent comic-book adaptation paints a dark picture of superheroes corrupted and corporatized within a media culture all too eager to sanctify them. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to watch on Amazon Prime while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic," 27 Mar. 2020 Indeed, a lot of the conservative project of corrupting or starving government agencies depends on an almost touching belief in the resiliency of the institutions liberalism built in the twentieth century. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "The Dismantled State Takes on a Pandemic," 12 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective However, President Donald Trump and others have repeatedly attacked mail-in voting, alleging the system may lead to a corrupt or rigged election. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Millions of letters, postcards encouraging voting heading to Michigan households," 10 Sep. 2020 American workers and labor organizers have a long history and tradition of uniting to combat corrupt management, corporations, and governments. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Happy Pandemic Labor Day," 7 Sep. 2020 Trump’s presidency is the most corrupt and lawless in modern times, if not ever. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, civil unrest, Bottineau Corridor light rail, strugging Chambers of Commerce, State Fair," 4 Sep. 2020 No human being is going to admit that his political aims are wicked and that his conscience is therefore corrupt. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "A Conservative’s Revisionist History Aims at Marx — and Misses the Mark," 3 Sep. 2020 Many Mexicans regard the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, which governed until December 2018, as the most corrupt in history. The Economist, "Bombshells on board A former official fires a legal missile at Mexico’s political class," 29 Aug. 2020 The ObamaBiden Administration was the most corrupt in history, including the fact that they got caught SPYING ON MY CAMPAIGN, the biggest political scandal in the history of our Country. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "The Trump Rampage Against Michelle Obama’s Speech Is Just Getting Started," 18 Aug. 2020 The ObamaBiden Administration was the most corrupt in history, including the fact that they got caught SPYING ON MY CAMPAIGN, the biggest political scandal in the history of our Country. Alexandra Jaffe, BostonGlobe.com, "‘He cannot meet this moment. It is what it is.’ Michelle Obama caps first night of DNC with rebuke of Trump," 17 Aug. 2020 The Lebanese people would also have to stand by their current condemnation of the confessional system that has empowered corrupt politicians and shielded Hezbollah’s actions. Carine Hajjar, National Review, "Now Is the Time to Force Hezbollah out of Lebanon," 22 Aug. 2020

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

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrupt. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for corrupt

corrupt

verb
How to pronounce corrupt (audio)

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

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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