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

In 1969 the Beatles made their final recordings, the mayhem of the Altamont festival proved a horrific inversion of Woodstock and Charles Manson showed how easily the hippie dream could be corrupted by narcissism and violence. D.b., The Economist, "How James Taylor captured America’s post-sixties blues," 23 July 2019 Google Maps, which so many of use to find locations and shop for services, is corrupted with false businesses, some of them scams, according to a lengthy Wall Street Journal investigation. Dallas News, "Google is not your friend, and with its Chrome browser and Maps, it could be your enemy," 18 July 2019 Chris Hamby looks into fears that the Census could be corrupted by bad actors: The government has ambitious plans to use new digital methods to collect data. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The ugly side of Facebook’s pivot to privacy is starting to show," 9 July 2019 The reason human rights are corrupted is that the left almost completely controls the international social-policy and human-rights space and is unrelenting in using it for its own ideological ends. WSJ, "Impossible to Protect Ever-Expanding Rights," 25 June 2019 The storyline immediately became a fan favorite thanks to its simple premise: What if this hero became corrupted by her power and turned into a villain? Time, "Review: Late Night Is a Pitch-Perfect Workplace Comedy," 7 June 2019 For quantum computers to work, scientists must find schemes for protecting information even when individual qubits get corrupted. Quanta Magazine, "How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code," 3 Jan. 2019 That’s why a magazine with its own reporters can do higher-quality stuff than some mass volunteer effort that can be easily corrupted by trolls or Russians or whatever. Eric Johnson, Recode, "If you can quit social media, but don’t, then you’re part of the problem, Jaron Lanier says," 27 July 2018 Long before the pinwheel symbol was corrupted by the Nazis to become the swastika, many ancient cultures saw it as a symbol of life, luck and well-being. Glenn Dixon, Smithsonian, "The Age-Old Tradition of Armenian Carpet Making Refuses to Be Swept Under the Rug," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Back in Mexico, Piña Carranza said he was constantly questioned by a group of corrupt local police officers. oregonlive, "For Oregon immigrants detained by feds, Tacoma lock-up’s cost, distance pose huge barriers," 4 Sep. 2019 His world changes forever when a moral dilemma echoes his family’s corrupt history. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "Mysteries, folktales, history and adventure: Fall brings heaps of new books from Minnesota authors and publishers," 3 Sep. 2019 Soprano Shannon Jennings sings the role of Tosca, tenor Derek Taylor her lover Cavaradossi; and baritone Tim Mix is the corrupt chief of police, Baron Scarpia. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Top Baltimore arts events for fall 2019," 29 Aug. 2019 But using punitive taxes, import restrictions, or government planning to combat the forces of economic dynamism is nothing more than an attempt at income redistribution — one of the most expensive and corrupt versions of it, in fact. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019 Walker faces nine felony charges: eight for delivery of a false sales document, and one for corrupt business influence, all felonies, according to online court records. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis-area man accused of making $1M on eBay in fake bar-code scheme, police say," 22 Aug. 2019 Mayor Kline is the self-interested mayor whose corrupt dealings put Hawkins in a lot of danger. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Did "Stranger Things" Try to Troll Donald Trump in Season 3?," 19 Aug. 2019 Krome has been a notoriously cruel and corrupt institution since the late-1990s. Ken Silverstein, The New Republic, "Shock Corridor," 19 Aug. 2019 The result is a novel that takes on power-hungry patriarchs, corrupt businessmen and spiritually bankrupt institutions without wallowing in violence or trafficking in tough-guy misogyny. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego has a dark role in a new noir novel by Patrick Coleman," 12 Aug. 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

24 Aug 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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concealment of treason or felony

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