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 corrupt (audio) \ noun
corruptibility \ kə-​ˌrəp-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ noun
corruptible \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adjective
corruptibly \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​blē How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adverb

Adjective

corruptly \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​lē How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adverb
corruptness \ kə-​ˈrəp(t)-​nəs How to pronounce corrupt (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 This is a great safety net against sudden movements that can cause the device to eject, which in turn, could corrupt your files. NBC News, "Seagate Backup Plus Slim: Why it's my work-from-home must-have," 26 Mar. 2021 Power and ambition corrupt an idealistic Southern politician. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘An American in Paris’; ‘Ben-Hur’," 26 Mar. 2021 Scientists’ lust for fame, glory and money can corrupt them. John Horgan, Scientific American, "I'm Agonizing over My Naive Realism," 19 Mar. 2021 Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. WSJ, "Academic Freedom Long Ago Withered Away," 4 Mar. 2021 By the time that Fidesz returned to power, government institutions were widely viewed as illegitimate—and therefore easy to corrupt or dismantle. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Strategy for Returning to Power Is Already Clear," 2 Mar. 2021 President Trump attempted to corrupt the election by pressuring the Secretary of State of Georgia to falsify the election results in his state. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Jason Chaffetz says he's open to challenging Mitt Romney in Utah Senate primary," 15 Feb. 2021 That federal lawsuit, which was appealed after being dismissed at the district court level, claims FCA tried to corrupt the bargaining process to hurt GM and force a merger. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Iacobelli's 'significant' cooperation in corruption probe cited in sentence reduction," 4 Jan. 2021 Prosecutors said that, among other things, worker training funds were misused in an effort to corrupt the bargaining process. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "FCA's controversial plan for 7 days on, 7 days off work schedule gets yanked," 26 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And Andrew Cuomo too has been deeply incompetent, at times corrupt. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, "Andrew Cuomo, the Creepy Tyrant of Albany," 31 Mar. 2021 But the Taliban are also viewed by some as being less corrupt than Afghan officials. New York Times, "The Taliban Think They Have Already Won, Peace Deal or Not," 30 Mar. 2021 When buying Goose Island, there were fears that Anheuser-Busch would strip the brand to its studs and corrupt or even shutter the Chicago operation that had made Goose Island an icon of innovation and quality. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "Goose Island sale 10 years later: Anheuser-Busch got what it needed from the deal, but what’s left for Chicago beer drinkers is more complicated.," 27 Mar. 2021 In his dark vision of public life, nonpartisan public servants, from public-health experts to prosecutors, were politically biased, incompetent, or corrupt. David Rohde, The New Yorker, "Garland Is the Last, Best Chance to Uncover Trump’s Role on January 6th," 21 Mar. 2021 Same board that oversees and benefits from the current practices and has knowingly perpetuated the HFPA’s corrupt dealings and racial inequity for decades? Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, "Shaka King on the powerful ideals of ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’," 10 Mar. 2021 After Oprah's highly anticipated interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the Duchess and Duke of Sussex, many Americans are coming to terms with just how corrupt the British monarchy remains today. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "Conservatives Are Showing Their “Patriotism” By… Defending The British Monarchy?," 9 Mar. 2021 All too often, the mixing of masses desperate migrants, organized crime and corrupt police ends the same way: Northern Mexico is littered with the bodies of people who never made it to the United States. Oscar Lopez, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexico arrests police officers over massacre," 4 Feb. 2021 Like other populists, Ventura portrays himself as leading common people against an entrenched and corrupt elite. Barry Hatton, Star Tribune, "In Portugal presidential race, how high can a populist fly?," 22 Jan. 2021

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

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrupt. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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 corrupt (audio) \ noun
corruptible \ kə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ adjective
corruptibly adverb
corruption \ kə-​ˈrəp-​shən How to pronounce corrupt (audio) \ noun

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Comments on corrupt

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