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

Keep scrolling for more

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 But industry whistleblowers and government investigators say all that money changing hands can corrupt medical judgment and tempt surgeons to perform unnecessary and wasteful operations. Elizabeth Lucas, Fortune, 17 June 2021 Like many grand ideals, there are always those who corrupt them. Sam Bahour, Washington Post, 3 June 2021 And, as Texans should know only too well, power can corrupt. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 5 May 2021 The idea of being there for your teammates, the importance of building chemistry or the fear of losing a starting job or roster spot have all conspired to corrupt the intent of the collective bargaining agreement. David Moore, Dallas News, 19 Apr. 2021 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, 26 Mar. 2021 Power and ambition corrupt an idealistic Southern politician. Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2021 Scientists’ lust for fame, glory and money can corrupt them. John Horgan, Scientific American, 19 Mar. 2021 Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. WSJ, 4 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective No question this guy was corrupt' Never before had the FBI raided the congressional office of a sitting lawmaker, but that's what Justice officials were proposing – and girding for – in the corruption case of William Jefferson in 2006. Kevin Johnson, USA Today, 19 June 2021 President Andrés Manuel López Obrador dissolved the former Federal Police soon after taking office in late 2018, saying the force was corrupt. Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, 15 June 2021 Cartel members are accused of bribing corrupt government and military officials in Tijuana to get their product safelyto America. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, 26 May 2021 But if Kabul considers warlords as agents of turmoil, their supporters see them as their only protection and support in the face of a notoriously corrupt government and violent insurgents. Rahim Faiez, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Mar. 2021 The group's name stems from the view that just three percent of the population can successfully overtake a corrupt government. Mike Levine, ABC News, 26 Feb. 2021 In 1974, he was asked to film a protest march led by students and farmers against the corrupt Indira Gandhi government. New York Times, 1 Dec. 2020 Cartel members in Mexico, as well as former high-level corrupt government officials, to assist him in fleeing from U.S. law enforcement and shelter him in Mexico. Marìa Verza And Michael Balsamo, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2020 But the demonstrations, organized under the name #EndSARS, have since mushroomed into broader protests against alleged police brutality and corrupt government. Joe Parkinson And Gbenga Akingbule, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for corrupt

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrupt. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!