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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Roberts effectively prevented the Trump administration from using the Supreme Court’s authority to launder its bad-faith attempt to corrupt the census for partisan purposes. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 21 July 2022 No American should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility where their refusal to follow the rule of law will corrupt our future. NBC News, 21 Aug. 2022 Earlier this week, the House Oversight Committee obtained a cache of documents from the Department of Commerce that show just how far the Trump administration wanted to go to corrupt the census in its favor. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 21 July 2022 Power could fall into your lap at any moment -- but power can corrupt those who aren't careful. Chicago Tribune, 3 Aug. 2022 The hearing will focus on Trump's efforts to corrupt the DOJ, according to Chair Bennie Thompson. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, 23 June 2022 Running an advertising campaign encompasses metrics showing how your audience views and responds to your content across various ad networks, including fake traffic, attribution and clicks, with the real versions that corrupt your data. Jacob Loveless, Forbes, 27 June 2022 Its security and decentralization is second to none, meaning its almost impossible to corrupt the network for personal gains. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 22 June 2022 Right-wing conspiracy theories have accused the Jesuits of supporting communism or trying to corrupt the church from within. Joseph P. Laycock, The Conversation, 24 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Depending on one’s perspective, Brazil’s crisis reveals that nobody is above the law or that the government is incorrigibly corrupt – or both. Morgan Wack, The Conversation, 16 Aug. 2022 The Republican Party spent decades arguing that government was corrupt, if not illegitimate, and grew increasingly reliant on right-wing media for the party's messaging. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 3 Aug. 2022 In her eyes everyone in Washington is corrupt and needs to go. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2022 By the end of 2020, after the lockdowns and the election, many conservatives had come to see that system the same way that right-wing extremists did—as corrupt and tyrannical, perhaps even satanic. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 10 Sep. 2022 That brings us to the other fundamental principle of Trump’s legal arguments: that any prosecutor, committee, or judge that investigates or rules against him is biased, illegitimate, and corrupt. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 6 Sep. 2022 The rallies are often attended by thousands of supporters and feature his fiery speeches denouncing Pakistan’s current government as corrupt and a foreign puppet. Susannah George, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2022 At this point, just assume everyone is corrupt and power-hungry. Aj Willingham, CNN, 21 Aug. 2022 In basic terms, data cleaning remediates flawed or corrupt data within a dataset—which is the primary cause of inaccurate data modeling and ineffective predictions. Yec, Forbes, 18 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About corrupt

Time Traveler for corrupt

Time Traveler

The first known use of corrupt was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near corrupt

corrugation

corrupt

corruptedly

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Statistics for corrupt

Last Updated

25 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrupt. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for corrupt

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

More from Merriam-Webster on corrupt

Nglish: Translation of corrupt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corrupt for Arabic Speakers

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