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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective corrupt differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of corrupt are degenerate, iniquitous, nefarious, vicious, and villainous. While all these words mean "highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct," corrupt stresses a loss of moral integrity or probity causing betrayal of principle or sworn obligations.

city hall was rife with corrupt politicians

When might degenerate be a better fit than corrupt?

The meanings of degenerate and corrupt largely overlap; however, degenerate suggests having sunk to an especially vicious or enervated condition.

a degenerate regime propped up by foreign powers

When is iniquitous a more appropriate choice than corrupt?

Although the words iniquitous and corrupt have much in common, iniquitous implies absence of all signs of justice or fairness.

an iniquitous system of taxation

In what contexts can nefarious take the place of corrupt?

The synonyms nefarious and corrupt are sometimes interchangeable, but nefarious suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct.

the nefarious rackets of organized crime

When would vicious be a good substitute for corrupt?

While in some cases nearly identical to corrupt, vicious may directly oppose virtuous in implying moral depravity, or may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence.

a vicious gangster

When can villainous be used instead of corrupt?

While the synonyms villainous and corrupt are close in meaning, villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic.

a villainous assault

Thesaurus Entries Near corrupt

Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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