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

Miranda was arrested in March 2018 under charges of rape, corrupting minors and forced prostitution. Rafael Romo, CNN, "Mexican singer says he was trafficked and abused as a teenager," 3 Aug. 2019 But it could be argued—and indeed is argued by Atkins in the film—that the film industry’s bloodthirst corrupted a generation that then murdered its idols. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Quentin Tarantino’s Ultimate Statement on Movie Violence," 2 Aug. 2019 For Aloia, a cancer survivor who would love for her body to eventually be studied to find a cure, the experience with the Biological Resource Center has corrupted the entire notion of body donation. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Dismembered Limbs, Head Sewn Onto the Wrong Body Allegedly Found in Raid on Arizona Body-Donation Company," 26 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 Both conspiracies represent attempts to corrupt the democratic practice of free, open, and transparent elections. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The Definitive Congressional Guide to Robert Mueller’s Mind," 22 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 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 At every turn, Guyatt either garbles or corrupts my arguments. Nicholas Guyatt, The New York Review of Books, "‘No Property in Man’: An Exchange," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

He was forced to quit his rural teaching job because of corrupt local politics. Amanda Shendruk, Quartzy, "Here’s what every Chinese book recently translated for the US is about," 27 July 2019 These customers continue to receive inflated bills because of corrupt syndicates within the national electric utility company Kenya Power. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Africa’s largest wind power project is now open in Kenya," 22 July 2019 Karl Urban stars as Billy Butcher, the leader of a group of vigilantes who target corrupt superheroes. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland.com, "Final season of ‘Orange is the New Black’ among top viewing choices," 20 July 2019 There are aspects of Chinese government that are complete and total catastrophes, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Why doesn't Elaine Chao 'go back' to China? She can fix the huge problems there," 16 July 2019 Brown pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence, a Class 5 felony, earlier this month. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis man posed as a teen girl to get nude photos of men. Then he extorted them.," 12 July 2019 The sinners Kisakye has in mind are the fishermen who, enabled by corrupt officials, caught so many fish, mostly Nile perch and Nile tilapia, that the fish plant here had to close in 2014. Alec Jacobson, National Geographic, "Fishermen fight to survive on the world's second largest lake," 3 May 2019 The government said the changes were needed to make Polish courts more efficient and oust corrupt judges. Marek Strzelecki, Bloomberg.com, "Pious Cat-Lover or Tower Developer: Who Is Poland’s Kaczynski?," 15 Feb. 2019 Federal prosecutors have cited those statistics in arguing about the damage inflicted by the corrupt unit. Justin Fenton, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore man served time for having gun he says was planted by a corrupt city police officer. Now he wants his record cleared," 29 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

10 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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