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  • IPA(key): /kəˈɹʌpʃən/
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Borrowed from French corruption, from Latin corruptiō.


corruption (countable and uncountable, plural corruptions)

  1. 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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Henry Hallam?) The Constitutional History of England
      It was necessary, by exposing the gross corruptions of monasteries, . . . to exite popular indignation against them.
    • (Can we date this quote by George Bancroft?)
      They abstained from some of the worst methods of corruption usual to their party in its earlier days.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 1, in Internal Combustion[1]:
      But electric vehicles and the batteries that made them run became ensnared in corporate scandals, fraud, and monopolistic corruption that shook the confidence of the nation and inspired automotive upstarts.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      WikiLeaks did not cause these uprisings but it certainly informed them. The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets.
  2. The act of corrupting or making putrid, or state of being corrupt or putrid; decomposition or disorganization, in the process of putrefaction; putrefaction; deterioration.
  3. The product of corruption; putrid matter.
  4. The decomposition of biological matter.
  5. The seeking of bribes.
  6. (computing) 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.
  7. The act of changing, or of being changed, for the worse; departure from what is pure, simple, or correct
    a corruption of style
    corruption in language
  8. (linguistics) A debased or nonstandard form of a word, expression, or text, resulting from misunderstanding, transcription error, mishearing, etc.
  9. Something that is evil but is supposed to be good.
    • (Can we date this quote by Francis Bacon?)
      The inducing and accelerating of putrefaction is a subject of very universal inquiry; for corruption is a reciprocal to generation.

Usage notesEdit

  • Corruption, when applied to officers, trustees, etc., signifies the inducing a violation of duty by means of pecuniary considerations. — Abbott


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


Derived termsEdit


corruption” in the Collins English Dictionary, Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for corruption in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



From Old French corruption, borrowed from Latin corruptiō, corruptiōnem.



corruption f (plural corruptions)

  1. corruption (act of corrupting)
  2. corruption (state of being corrupt)
  3. corruption (putrefaction)
  4. (figuratively) corruption (bribing)

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit


Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Latin corruptiō, corruptiōnem.


corruption f (oblique plural corruptions, nominative singular corruption, nominative plural corruptions)

  1. corruption (state of being corrupted)

Related termsEdit