[ kuh-ruhpt ]
See synonyms for: corruptcorruptedcorruptingcorruptive on

  1. guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.

  2. debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.

  1. (of a text) made inferior by errors or alterations: Scholars compared the corrupt Alexandrian manuscript with a more reliable Greek translation.

  2. infected; tainted.

  3. Archaic. decayed; putrid.

  4. Computers. relating to or designating computer code or stored data that contains errors: If the corrupt file won’t open, restore a previous save.

verb (used with object)
  1. to destroy the integrity of; cause to be dishonest, disloyal, etc., especially by bribery.

  2. to lower morally; pervert: to corrupt youth.

  1. to alter (a language, text, etc.) for the worse; debase.

  2. to mar; spoil.

  3. to infect; taint.

  4. Archaic. to make putrid or putrescent.

  5. Computers. to introduce errors in (computer code or stored data) when saving, transmitting, or retrieving it: I downloaded some free modifications that corrupted the core program, so I can’t open it until I uninstall and reinstall the original version.

  6. English Law. (in historical use) to subject (an attainted person) to corruption of blood.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become corrupt.

Origin of corrupt

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English verb from Latin corruptus “rotten, decayed, corrupted” (past participle of corrumpere ), equivalent to cor- intensive prefix + rup- (variant stem of rumpere “to break”) + -tus past participle suffix; see cor-

synonym study For corrupt

1. Corrupt, dishonest, venal apply to a person, especially in public office, who acts on mercenary motives, without regard to honor, right, or justice. A corrupt politician is one originally honest who has succumbed to temptation and begun questionable practices. A dishonest politician is one lacking native integrity. A venal politician is one so totally debased as to sell patronage.

Other words for corrupt

Other words from corrupt

  • cor·rupt·ed·ly, adverb
  • cor·rupt·ed·ness, noun
  • cor·rupt·er, cor·rup·tor, noun
  • cor·rup·tive, adjective
  • cor·rup·tive·ly, adverb
  • cor·rupt·ly, adverb
  • cor·rupt·ness, noun
  • non·cor·rupt, adjective
  • non·cor·rupt·ly, adverb
  • non·cor·rupt·ness, noun
  • non·cor·rupt·er, noun
  • non·cor·rup·tive, adjective
  • o·ver·cor·rupt, verb, adjective
  • o·ver·cor·rupt·ly, adverb
  • pre·cor·rupt, verb (used with object)
  • pre·cor·rupt·ly, adverb
  • pre·cor·rupt·ness, noun
  • pre·cor·rup·tive, adjective
  • un·cor·rupt, adjective
  • un·cor·rupt·ly, adverb
  • un·cor·rupt·ness, noun
  • un·cor·rupt·ed, adjective
  • un·cor·rupt·ed·ly, adverb
  • un·cor·rupt·ed·ness, noun
  • un·cor·rupt·ing, adjective
  • un·cor·rup·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use corrupt in a sentence

  • You are a corrupter of youth, and an evil man, Mr. Schoolmaster, and a purloiner of letters as well.'

    A German Pompadour | Marie Hay
  • With the great "corrupter" removed the City hoped for great things.

  • Happy indeed would be the condition of youth if they had one corrupter only, and all the rest of the world were their improvers.

    Apology | Plato
  • Thus the lack of character spread.785 Slavery proved a great corrupter of both slaves and owners.

    Folkways | William Graham Sumner
  • Shall there be even in the eye of religion no difference between the corrupter of youth and their guardian?

    Gamblers and Gambling | Henry Ward Beecher

British Dictionary definitions for corrupt


/ (kəˈrʌpt) /

  1. lacking in integrity; open to or involving bribery or other dishonest practices: a corrupt official; corrupt practices in an election

  2. morally depraved

  1. putrid or rotten

  2. contaminated; unclean

  3. (of a text or manuscript) made meaningless or different in meaning from the original by scribal errors or alterations

  4. (of computer programs or data) containing errors

  1. to become or cause to become dishonest or disloyal

  2. to debase or become debased morally; deprave

  1. (tr) to infect or contaminate; taint

  2. (tr) to cause to become rotten

  3. (tr) to alter (a text, manuscript, etc) from the original

  4. (tr) computing to introduce errors into (data or a program)

Origin of corrupt

C14: from Latin corruptus spoiled, from corrumpere to ruin, literally: break to pieces, from rumpere to break

Derived forms of corrupt

  • corrupter or corruptor, noun
  • corruptive, adjective
  • corruptively, adverb
  • corruptly, adverb
  • corruptness, noun

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