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Borrowed from French corruption, from Latin corruptiō.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈɹʌpʃən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌpʃən
  • Hyphenation: cor‧rup‧tion


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 en and provide title, author's full name, and other details?) 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 en and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote by en and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The inducing and accelerating of putrefaction is a subject of very universal inquiry; for corruption is a reciprocal to generation.
  3. The product of corruption; putrid matter.
    • 1821, Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, volume 2, page 154:
      Think of wandering amid sepulchral ruins, of stumbling over the bones of the dead, of encountering what I cannot describe,—the horror of being among those who are neither the living or the dead;—those dark and shadowless things that sport themselves with the reliques of the dead, and feast and love amid corruption,—ghastly, mocking, and terrific.
  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.


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

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