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See more synonyms for bribery on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural brib·er·ies.
  1. the act or practice of giving or accepting a bribe: Bribery of a public official is a felony.
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Origin of bribery

1350–1400; Middle English briberie theft < Middle French: begging. See bribe, -ery
Can be confusedbribery extortion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for bribery

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • All the officials are on their guard; they are highly placed, and are not likely to be got at by bribery.

  • You can't close the Lane by that kind of bribery, Mr. Colton.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • As for the other palace servants, they had been silenced with bribery or the stiletto.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • The single sentry he could suborn, or else—if bribery failed—poniard.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Bribery had sealed his lips, and only greed would open them.

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

British Dictionary definitions for bribery


noun plural -eries
  1. the process of giving or taking bribes
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bribery


late 14c., "theft, robbery, swindling, pilfering;" see bribe (n.) + -ery. Specifically of magistrates taking money for corrupted services from mid-16c.; sense of "offering of a bribe" is from 1560s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper