Thesaurus

corrupt

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of corrupt

(Entry 1 of 2)

having or showing lowered moral character or standards
  • corrupt businessmen who are out to fleece the public
  • corrupt business practices that should be investigated

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corrupt

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of corrupt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to go through decomposition
  • a dead mouse corrupting in the walls produced a terrible smell

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2 to lower in character, dignity, or quality
  • some observers believe that grossly violent movies corrupt the people who watch them as well as the people who make them

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3 to influence someone with a bribe
  • he bragged about having corrupted half of the officials on the city council

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Frequently Asked Questions About corrupt

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

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Learn More About corrupt

Time Traveler for corrupt

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near corrupt

corrugations

corrupt

corrupted

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Cite this Entry

“Corrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/corrupt. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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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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