Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of corrupting.
  • n. The state of being corrupt.
  • n. Decay; rot.
  • n. Archaic Something that corrupts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of corrupting or of impairing integrity, virtue, or moral principle; the state of being corrupted or debased; loss of purity or integrity; depravity; wickedness; impurity; bribery.
  • n. The act of corrupting or making putrid, or state of being corrupt or putrid; decomposition or disorganization, in the process of putrefaction; putrefaction; deterioration.
  • n. The product of corruption; putrid matter.
  • n. The decomposition of biological matter.
  • n. The destruction of data by manipulation of parts of it, either by deliberate or accidental human action or by imperfections in storage or transmission media.
  • n. The act of changing, or of being changed, for the worse; departure from what is pure, simple, or correct; as, a corruption of style; corruption in language.
  • n. A debased or nonstandard form of a word, expression, or text, resulting from misunderstanding, transcription error, mishearing, etc.
  • n. Something that is evil but is supposed to be good.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of corrupting or making putrid, or state of being corrupt or putrid; decomposition or disorganization, in the process of putrefaction; putrefaction; deterioration.
  • n. The product of corruption; putrid matter.
  • n. The act of corrupting or of impairing integrity, virtue, or moral principle; the state of being corrupted or debased; loss of purity or integrity; depravity; wickedness; impurity; bribery.
  • n. The act of changing, or of being changed, for the worse; departure from what is pure, simple, or correct.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of corrupting, or the state of being corrupt or putrid; the destruction of the natural form of an organic body by decomposition accompanied by putrefaction; physical dissolution.
  • n. Putrid matter; pus.
  • n. Depravity; wickedness; perversion or extinction of moral principles; loss of purity or integrity.
  • n. Debasement or deterioration.
  • n. Perversion; vitiation: as, a corruption of language.
  • n. A corrupt or debased form of a word: as, “sparrow-grass” is a corruption of “asparagus.”
  • n. A perverting, vitiating, or depraving influence; more specifically, bribery.
  • n. In law, taint; impurity or defect (of heritable blood) in consequence of an act of attainder of treason or felony, by which a person is disabled from inheriting lands from an ancestor, and can neither retain those in his possession nor transmit them by descent to his heirs.
  • n. Synonyms Putrefaction, putrescence.
  • n. Pollution, defilement, contamination, vitiation, demoralization, foulness, baseness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. decay of matter (as by rot or oxidation)
  • n. lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain
  • n. destroying someone's (or some group's) honesty or loyalty; undermining moral integrity
  • n. moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles
  • n. inducement (as of a public official) by improper means (as bribery) to violate duty (as by commiting a felony)
  • n. in a state of progressive putrefaction

Etymologies

From French corruption, from Latin corruptiō (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • "All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton (1834 - 1902)

    September 9, 2007