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 that regard, the series has reached its timely thesis: To pursue the American dream is, too often, to corrupt it, eventually tarnishing the idea of success itself. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Tragicomedy of the American Dream," 16 Sep. 2019 Their politics is corrupted by money, often from major companies. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Global economics play out in Brazil," 1 Sep. 2019 It had been corrupted and watered down by a following that lacked both dedication and message discipline. Alexander Sammon, The New Republic, "The Last of the Ayn Rand Acolytes," 14 Aug. 2019 Previous SlideNext Slide In the new prequel, the Crystal of Truth has been corrupted by the Skeksis, and a plague spreads across Thra. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Sigourney Weaver, Mark Hamill lend voices to Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance," 13 Aug. 2019 Every two years solar conjunction occurs between our two worlds, and NASA engineers put a halt to sending all commands to the Martian spacecrafts out of concern the signals may become corrupted. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "See Neptune at its best and more top stargazing in September," 1 Sep. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Safiqul Islam, who runs the education programme, says that BRAC schools had been free for so long that some parents thought the teachers were corrupt. The Economist, "How BRAC, the world’s biggest charity, made Bangladesh richer," 5 Sep. 2019 While the criminal case against Avenatti centers on whether his advocacy for Franklin crossed the line into extortion, part of Avenatti’s defense is to claim that Nike was corrupt in its recruitment of star players. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "How the Michael Avenatti Case Could Disrupt the Basketball World," 19 Aug. 2019 The families of corrupt politicians must sense an opening with Trump for leniency. Seth A. Richardson, cleveland.com, "PA, WI governors make push for gun reforms: The Flyover," 16 Aug. 2019 Voters turned against a political establishment that was corrupt and economically inept. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Voters Rebel in Europe’s Big Three," 10 Dec. 2018 The big three The DEA mounted a crusade against Internet pharmacies and corrupt doctors and then took on the companies making and distributing the opioids to prevent drugs from being diverted to the black market. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Tactic 8’ in the secret drug industry plan to defeat the DEA: Find a champion in Congress," 14 Sep. 2019 Novels corrupt women’s minds! Pinball machines create an unstoppable compulsion!—it also miscategorizes what addiction really is. Wired, "The Danger of Thinking We’re All ‘Addicted’ to Tech," 13 Sep. 2019 Reforms are urgently needed to create a competent, less corrupt, better-resourced, and civic-minded police service. Gilbert M Khadiagala, Quartz Africa, "Nigerians aren’t targeted more than other Africans in South Africa’s xenophobic attacks but the damage is done," 12 Sep. 2019 Haynie is charged with perjury in an official proceeding, misuse of public office, corrupt misuse of public office and failure to disclose a voting conflict. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, "Suspended Boca Raton mayor Susan Haynie goes to trial in March in corruption scandal," 10 Sep. 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

5 Oct 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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