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

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 Some residents also mirrored the council members’ concerns that the image of CBD would corrupt the special feeling of Cedarburg’s historic district. Jennifer Whidden, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cedarburg's common council ruling means the ‘end of the line’ for proposed CBD store," 11 June 2019 BlueKeep allows those machines to be corrupted and used to conduct denial of service attacks and likely more nefarious actions. Chris Morris, Fortune, "'Devastating Computer Worms': NSA Urges Windows Update to Patch Major Security Flaw," 5 June 2019 But within a few generations, according to Ibn Khaldun, these victorious tribesmen lose their ‘asabiyya and become corrupted by luxury, extravagance, and leisure. Malise Ruthven, The New York Review of Books, "The Otherworldliness of Ibn Khaldun," 7 Feb. 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 The left has to do things like try to corrupt the greatest law enforcement institution the world has ever known. Fox News, "Rudy Giuliani reacts to Paul Manafort's plea deal," 14 Sep. 2018 Film and art writing were corrupted so long ago by slavish fixations on the box office and the auction price that it’s now hard to imagine them otherwise. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Soviet spies build a giant scientific facility beneath the Hawkins mall and are buying up land throughout the town with the semi-unwitting help of Hawkins’ corrupt mayor. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "In season 3, Stranger Things’ celebration of ’80s pop culture becomes a political ideology," 8 July 2019 Who can forget Edmund's brief stint as a corrupt Archbishop of Canterbury and that infamous Black Russian codpiece? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Rumor has it there’s a cunning plan to bring back Blackadder for fifth season," 1 July 2019 Facing off with Big Brother The game takes place in a near-future London, at a time when people are being oppressed by Big Brother-esque surveillance and a corrupt private military corporation, Albion, patrolling the streets. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "You must resist Big Brother in upcoming Ubisoft video game 'Watch Dogs: Legion'," 29 June 2019 Jews were labeled materialistic and corrupt centuries before the Catholic Church began to worry about usury, or even about the sin of avarice. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 These were widely viewed not as simply bad choices but potentially corrupt ones. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego makes pension move but long slog remains," 12 June 2019 Hunter, too, is apparently not too corrupt to be in Congress. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Scandal-plagued Republican Duncan Hunter wins with an Islamophobic campaign," 7 Nov. 2018 Many Tijuana residents already do not trust the police, viewing them largely as either inefficient or corrupt. (wendy Fry / San Diego Union-tribune), San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former Tijuana police officers posing as fake cops," 11 June 2019 Also, Mexican security forces are known for often being corrupt and shaking migrants down for bribes. Washington Post, "Mexico-US tariff deal: Questions, concerns for migration," 8 June 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

13 Jul 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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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