What does corruption mean?

Definitions for corruption
kəˈrʌp ʃəncor·rup·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word corruption.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. corruptness, corruptionnoun

    lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain

  2. putrescence, putridness, rottenness, corruptionnoun

    in a state of progressive putrefaction

  3. corruptionnoun

    decay of matter (as by rot or oxidation)

  4. corruption, degeneracy, depravation, depravity, putrefactionnoun

    moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles

    "the luxury and corruption among the upper classes"; "moral degeneracy followed intellectual degeneration"; "its brothels, its opium parlors, its depravity"; "Rome had fallen into moral putrefaction"

  5. corruption, subversionnoun

    destroying someone's (or some group's) honesty or loyalty; undermining moral integrity

    "corruption of a minor"; "the big city's subversion of rural innocence"

  6. corruptionnoun

    inducement (as of a public official) by improper means (as bribery) to violate duty (as by commiting a felony)

    "he was held on charges of corruption and racketeering"


  1. corruptionnoun

    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.

  2. corruptionnoun

    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. corruptionnoun

    The product of corruption; putrid matter.

  4. corruptionnoun

    The decomposition of biological matter.

  5. corruptionnoun

    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.

  6. corruptionnoun

    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.

  7. corruptionnoun

    A debased or nonstandard form of a word, expression, or text, resulting from misunderstanding, transcription error, mishearing, etc.

  8. corruptionnoun

    Something that is evil but is supposed to be good.

    The inducing and accelerating of putrefaction is a subject of very universal inquiry; for corruption is a reciprocal to generation. uE000130107uE001 .

  9. Etymology: From corruption, from corruptio

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Corruptionnoun

    Etymology: corruptio, Lat.

    Precepts of morality, besides the natural corruption of our tempers, which makes us averse to them, are so abstracted from ideas of sense, that they seldom get an opportunity for descriptions and images. Joseph Addison, Essay on the Georgicks.

    Amidst corruption, luxury and rage,
    Still leave some ancient virtue’s to our age. Alexander Pope.

    The wise contriver, on his end intent,
    Careful this fatal errour to prevent,
    And keep the waters from corruption free,
    Mix’d them with salt, and season’d all the sea. Richard Blackmore.

    After my death I wish no other herald,
    No other speaker of my living actions,
    To keep mine honour from corruption,
    But such an honest chronicler as Griffith. William Shakespeare, Hen. VIII.

    The region hath by conquest, and corruption of other languages, received new and differing names. Walter Raleigh, History.

    All those four kinds of corruption are very common in their language; for which reasons the Greek tongue is become much altered. Edward Brerewood, on Languages.


  1. Corruption

    Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain. Corruption may involve many activities which include bribery, influence peddling and the embezzlement and it may also involve practices which are legal in many countries. Political corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts with an official capacity for personal gain. Corruption is most common in kleptocracies, oligarchies, narco-states, and mafia states.Corruption and crime are endemic sociological occurrences which appear with regular frequency in virtually all countries on a global scale in varying degrees and proportions. Each individual nation allocates domestic resources for the control and regulation of corruption and the deterrence of crime. Strategies which are undertaken in order to counter corruption are often summarized under the umbrella term anti-corruption. Additionally, global initiatives like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 also have a targeted goal which is supposed to substantially reduce corruption in all of its forms.


  1. corruption

    Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power or position for personal gain or advantage. This unethical behavior may involve a range of actions like bribery, fraud, nepotism, embezzlement, and graft. Corruption can occur in any sector, whether it be public, private, or non-profit, and is considered illegal and detrimental to the functioning of a society or organization.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Corruptionnoun

    the act of corrupting or making putrid, or state of being corrupt or putrid; decomposition or disorganization, in the process of putrefaction; putrefaction; deterioration

  2. Corruptionnoun

    the product of corruption; putrid matter

  3. Corruptionnoun

    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

  4. Corruptionnoun

    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


  1. Corruption

    Corruption or bastardisation are terms popularly used to refer to certain changes in language which originate from human error or alleged prescriptively incorrect usage. Descriptive linguistics typically avoids using these negative terms, since from a scientific point of view such changes are neither good nor bad. Words are commonly said to be "corrupted" or "bastardized" if they undergo a change in spelling or pronunciation when borrowed from one language to another. This example illustrates that normal phonological developments can be labeled by some as "corruption", a position which demands that any language change from a previous state be thus labeled. In this view, English would be a "corruption" of Proto-Germanic, the Romance languages would be "corruptions" of Latin, and Latin would ultimately be a "corruption" of Proto-Indo-European. Language corruption may refer to a change in words, as described above, or to a deviation from the so-called "purity" of standard language. For example, the split infinitive has long been disputed as either a corruption or norm of the English language, even though the concept of the English infinitive containing the preposition "to" is challenged by usage with modals which precludes employing to. A language can also come to be regarded as having become "corrupted" if it has acquired a large vocabulary from other languages. This terminology is highly frowned upon by most academic linguists, as the adoption of loan words is a normal process which has no effect on the functionality of the language. Labeling a language as "corrupted" is a subjective value judgement which often leads to linguistic discrimination.

Suggested Resources

  1. corruption

    Song lyrics by corruption -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by corruption on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'corruption' in Nouns Frequency: #2364

How to pronounce corruption?

How to say corruption in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of corruption in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of corruption in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of corruption in a Sentence

  1. Abraham Lincoln:

    Corporations have been enthroned .... An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people... until wealth is aggregated in a few hands ... and the Republic is destroyed.

  2. Donald Trump:

    Let me tell you, I'm only interested in corruption, i don't care about politics. I don't care about Biden's politics.... I don't care about politics. But I do care about corruption, and this whole thing is about corruption... This is about corruption, and this is not about politics.

  3. Ali Mufuruki:

    Corruption is the single biggest threat to Africa's growth, the solution lies in good, ethical leadership, strong and enforceable laws against corruption, severe sanctions for corruption crimes underpinned by a national culture of promoting ethics from family to national level.

  4. Chika Onuegbu:

    Perhaps ,the country should truly be at war, but that war SHOULD BE the war against corruption, poverty, injustice and unemployment. For it is only when we win the war against corruption, poverty, injustice and unemployment that we can effectively address the unacceptable level of insecurity in the country. Until we do this, no amount of defence/security spending will solve the insecurity problems in Nigeria as ‘poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere’,

  5. Saul David Alinsky:

    Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed he who fears corruption fears life.

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Translations for corruption

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"corruption." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/corruption>.

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    (slang) a merchant who deals in shoddy or inferior merchandise
    • A. instigation
    • B. nidus
    • C. schlockmeister
    • D. cazique

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