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 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 Given Bulger’s decades as a crime boss who corrupted the Boston office of the FBI, paying cash and doing favors in exchange for information that helped him thwart multiple investigations, a retrial would have been a near certainty. NBC News, "Whitey Bulger juror regrets conviction after receiving dozens of letters from crime boss," 18 Feb. 2020 Their very blood is corrupted and the springs of life tainted with disease, by which a premature old age and untimely death ensues. Doug Herman, Smithsonian Magazine, "Shutting Down Hawai‘i: A Historical Perspective on Epidemics in the Islands," 25 Mar. 2020 The company must also contend with a federal lawsuit from GM claiming FCA purposefully cost GM billions of dollars by allegedly corrupting the bargaining process with the UAW. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Fiat Chrysler workers to get profit sharing of $7,280," 6 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Catch-22’ did for the military life — displays it as farce, a melee of blunderers laboring to murky purpose under corrupt and platitudinous superiors. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "12 novels that changed the way we live," 7 May 2020 For example, people tend to view politics through their own partisan or ideological lens: Their party, its members, and its priorities are correct, and the other party is incompetent or corrupt. Joseph E. Uscinski, The Atlantic, "What Can a Pandemic Tell Us About Conspiracy Theories?," 30 Apr. 2020 The right could not win a parliamentary majority without small secular parties whose representatives object to Netanyahu as corrupt and resent the continued influence of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties on matters of religion and state. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Israel Finally — Almost — Gets a Government," 23 Apr. 2020 Without the whistleblower complaint, lawmakers might never have been given the chance to decide whether this rose to the level of being corrupt and worthy of removal from office. Aaron Blake, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump fires yet another official who played a key role in investigating him," 4 Apr. 2020 Civil rights have been undermined and the country has become corrupt and autocratic, and the grandfather no longer recognizes it as his homeland. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, "George Saunders on Politics and the Future," 30 Mar. 2020 The Chinese Communist Party may be corrupt and incompetent, but at least they are not gripped by delusional fruitcake propaganda and conspiracy theories. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "Trump's coronavirus response is worse than incompetent," 26 Feb. 2020 State and federal agents raided the county’s administrative offices with a search warrant seeking evidence of corrupt activity, extortion, civil rights violations and other crimes, according to a copy of a search warrant obtained by cleveland.com. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Prosecutors now have thousands of documents from January 2019 raid of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s office," 23 Jan. 2020 The man sought help from the U.S. military in settling a dispute with his neighbor, knowing the Iraqi justice system was too corrupt to hand down a fair and honest ruling. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Rep. Jason Crow says he’ll vote to impeach Trump this week," 15 Dec. 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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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

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for corrupt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with corrupt

Spanish Central: Translation of corrupt

Nglish: Translation of corrupt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corrupt for Arabic Speakers

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