cor·​rup·​tion | \ kə-ˈrəp-shən How to pronounce corruption (audio) \

Definition of corruption

1a : dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers) : depravity
b : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (such as bribery) the corruption of government officials
c : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct the corruption of a text the corruption of computer files
d : decay, decomposition the corruption of a carcass
2 chiefly dialectal : pus
3 archaic : an agency or influence that corrupts

Examples of corruption in a Sentence

There are rumors of widespread corruption in the city government. the mafia's corruption of public officials corruption of the English language computer software that is supposed to prevent the corruption of files the corruption of a text
Recent Examples on the Web Now, just hours ahead of Lebanon's parliamentary election on Sunday, voters are expected to cast a ballot amidst misery, threats and corruption. Carmen Geha, CNN, 14 May 2022 During an interview at his house in the Lebanese mountains, Geagea asserted that all the problems facing Lebanon, from government corruption to unemployment, could be solved by a parliament controlled by his party. Sarah Dadouch, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 His time in office prior to the war was marked by criticism about his inability to stamp out corruption and end the war with pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 12 May 2022 Manzo told the Tribune village officials previously pleaded with state lawmakers and IDOT officials to take the cameras down, citing the ever-widening federal corruption probe that tied in to those cameras. Joe Mahr, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2022 The police union’s ads also attempt to link Bass to Ridley-Thomas, a target in the federal USC corruption case. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 Nancy New, 69, and Zachary New, 39, agreed to testify against others in what state Auditor Shad White has called Mississippi's largest public corruption case in the past two decades. CBS News, 10 May 2022 Journos working through the files are shocked at the schemes and at how far the old corruption networks stretched. Jennie Punter, Variety, 9 May 2022 Political corruption is rampant, and the arrival of tech bros building multimillion-dollar properties certainly isn't helping. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corruption.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of corruption

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for corruption

see corrupt entry 1

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

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Corruption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for corruption


cor·​rup·​tion | \ kə-ˈrəp-shən How to pronounce corruption (audio) \

Kids Definition of corruption

1 : dishonest or illegal behavior corruption in politics
2 : the process of causing someone else to do something wrong … the little scene that I had overheard was the last act in the corruption of one of the honest hands …— Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
3 : the act of changing or damaging something the corruption of an ancient text the corruption of a computer file

More from Merriam-Webster on corruption

Nglish: Translation of corruption for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corruption for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about corruption


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