Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Marked by immorality and perversion; depraved.
  • adjective Venal or dishonest.
  • adjective Containing errors or alterations, especially ones that prevent proper understanding or use.
  • adjective Archaic Tainted; putrid.
  • intransitive verb To ruin morally; pervert.
  • intransitive verb To destroy or subvert the honesty or integrity of, as by offering bribes.
  • intransitive verb To cause to become rotten; spoil.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To render impure; contaminate.
  • intransitive verb To alter from original or proper form.
  • intransitive verb Computers To damage (data) in a file or on a disk.
  • intransitive verb To become corrupt.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To injure; mar; spoil; destroy.
  • To vitiate physically; render unsound; taint or contaminate as with disease; decompose: as, to corrupt the blood.
  • To change from a sound to a putrid or putrescent state; cause the decomposition of (an organic body), as by a natural process, accompanied by a fetid smell; change from a good to a bad physical condition, in any way.
  • To vitiate or deprave, in a moral sense; change from good to bad; infect with evil; pervert; debase.
  • To pervert or vitiate the integrity of; entice from allegiance, or from a good to an evil course of conduct; influence by a bribe or other wrong motive.
  • To debase or render impure by alterations or innovations; infect with imperfections or errors; falsify; pervert: as, to corrupt language; to corrupt a text.
  • Synonyms Spoil, taint. Contaminate, deprave, demoralize. See taint, v. t.
  • To become putrid; putrefy; rot.
  • Synonyms Decay, Putrefy, etc. See rot.
  • Legally tainted, as by an act of attainder of treason or felony: said of the blood of one legally attainted. See corruption, 8.
  • Decomposing, or showing signs of decomposition; putrid; spoiled; tainted; vitiated.
  • Debased in character; depraved; perverted; infected with evil.
  • Dishonest; without integrity; guilty of dishonesty involving bribery, or a disposition to bribe or be bribed: as, corrupt practices; a corrupt judge.
  • Changed for the worse; debased or falsified by admixture, addition, or alteration; erroneous or full of errors: as, a corrupt text.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To become putrid or tainted; to putrefy; to rot.
  • intransitive verb To become vitiated; to lose purity or goodness.
  • adjective Changed from a sound to a putrid state; spoiled; tainted; vitiated; unsound.
  • adjective Changed from a state of uprightness, correctness, truth, etc., to a worse state; vitiated; depraved; debased; perverted.
  • adjective Abounding in errors; not genuine or correct.
  • transitive verb To change from a sound to a putrid or putrescent state; to make putrid; to putrefy.
  • transitive verb To change from good to bad; to vitiate; to deprave; to pervert; to debase; to defile.
  • transitive verb To draw aside from the path of rectitude and duty.
  • transitive verb To debase or render impure by alterations or innovations; to falsify.
  • transitive verb To waste, spoil, or consume; to make worthless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective In a depraved state; debased; perverted; morally degenerate; weak in morals.
  • adjective With lots of errors in it; not genuine or correct; in an invalid state.
  • adjective In a putrid state; spoiled; tainted; vitiated; unsound.
  • verb transitive To make corrupt; to change from good to bad; to draw away from the right path; to deprave; to pervert.
  • verb intransitive To become putrid or tainted; to putrefy; to rot.

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

  • verb corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
  • verb place under suspicion or cast doubt upon
  • verb make illegal payments to in exchange for favors or influence
  • adjective containing errors or alterations
  • adjective touched by rot or decay
  • adjective not straight; dishonest or immoral or evasive
  • adjective lacking in integrity
  • verb alter from the original

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpere, to destroy : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + rumpere, to break; see reup- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English corrupten, from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpō, corrumpere ("to destroy, ruin, injure, spoil, corrupt, bribe"), from com- ("together") + rumpere ("to break in pieces").

Examples

  • Paul says, “He that cometh to God must believe” (Heb.xi. 6); and Christ says the same thing: “Either make the tree good and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt” (Matt.xii. 33), —as much as to say, He who wishes to have good fruit will begin with the tree, and plant a good one; even so he who wishes to do good works must begin, not by working, but by believing, since it is this which makes the person good.

    Concerning Christian Liberty

  • Every time I read something about Scott Walker, the term "corrupt totalitarian regime" crawls into my head.

    Crooks and Liars

  • You know, one of the things you mention, Mark, is you talk about all the instances where these justices have been wrong in the past, not only wrong, morally wrong, at times morally bankrupt, and even, I think, the term corrupt could be used.

    Media Matters for America - Limbaugh Wire

  • You know, one of the things you mention, Mark, is you talk about all the instances where these justices have been wrong in the past, not only wrong, morally wrong, at times morally bankrupt, and even, I think, the term corrupt could be used.

    Media Matters for America - Limbaugh Wire

  • Besigye has held five "walk to work" demonstrations to protest rising prices and what he calls a corrupt government.

    Riots erupt in Uganda after brutal arrest, 2 killed

  • Ms. Palin gave the keynote speech at the conference, pausing throughout as the audience stood and cheered her critique of Mr. Obama and what she described as a corrupt Washington political culture.

    Palin Hints at Romney Flaws

  • He says the people don't want a conflict, just the end of what he calls the corrupt regime.

    Dozens Dead, Wounded as Yemen on Brink of Civil War

  • He says the people don't want a conflict, just the end of what he calls the corrupt regime.

    Dozens Dead, Wounded as Yemen on Brink of Civil War

  • In the same speech, he said American soldiers in Vietnam had watched U.S. tax dollars support what he called a corrupt, dictatorial regime.

    Kerry: Crucial For Karzai To Act Against Corruption

  • In the same speech, he said American soldiers in Vietnam had watched U.S. tax dollars support what he called a corrupt, dictatorial regime.

    Kerry: Crucial For Karzai To Act Against Corruption

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • My preference is for this as a verb.

    December 13, 2006