morally corrupt : a depraved indifference to human life.
THE RIGHT WORD
There are many terms to describe the dark side of human nature.
- Someone who preys on young children would be considered depraved, a term that means totally immoral and implies a warped character or a twisted mind (: a depraved man who stole money from his own mother and eventually murdered her).
- While depraved suggests an absolute condition, degenerate is a relative term that implies deterioration from a mental, moral, or physical standard (: her degenerate habits eventually led to her arrest for possession of drugs).
- Corrupt also suggests a deterioration or loss of soundness, particularly through a destructive or contaminating influence. But unlike depraved, which usually applies to the lower end of the human spectrum, people in high positions are often referred to as corrupt (: a corrupt politician from a prominent family).
- To say that someone or something is debased suggests a lowering in quality, value, dignity, or character (: debased by having to spend time in prison).
- Perverted and vile are the strongest of these words describing lack of moral character. Perverted suggests a distortion of someone or something from what is right, natural, or true; in a moral sense, it means to use one’s appetites or natural desires for other ends than those which are considered normal or natural (: a perverted individual who never should have been left alone with young children).
- Most people find criminals who prey on either very old or very young victims to be vile, a more general term for whatever is loathsome, repulsive, or utterly despicable (: a vile killer who deserved the maximum sentence).
verb [ trans. ]
make (someone) immoral or wicked : this book would deprave and corrupt young children.
depravation |ˌdeprəˈvā sh ən| noun
ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [pervert the meaning or intention of something] ): from Old French depraver or Latin depravare, from de- ‘down, thoroughly’ + pravus ‘crooked, perverse.’