1 having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain : unscrupulous logging companies assisted by corrupt officials.
• evil or morally depraved : the play can do no harm since its audience is already corrupt.
See note at depraved .
• archaic (of organic or inorganic matter) in a state of decay; rotten or putrid : a corrupt and rotting corpse.
2 (of a text or manuscript) debased or made unreliable by errors or alterations.
• (of a computer database or program) having errors introduced.
verb [ trans. ]
1 cause to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain : there is a continuing fear of firms corrupting politicians in the search for contracts.
• cause to become morally depraved : he has corrupted the boy.
• archaic infect; contaminate : [as adj. ] ( corrupting) the corrupting smell of death.
2 (often be corrupted) change or debase by making errors or unintentional alterations : Epicurus’s teachings have since been much corrupted.
• cause errors to appear in (a computer program or database) : a program that has somehow corrupted your system files.
cor.rupt.i.bil.i.ty |kəˌrəptəˈbilitē| noun
cor.rup.tive |-tiv| adjective
ORIGIN Middle English : from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpere ‘mar, bribe, destroy,’ from cor- ‘altogether’ + rumpere ‘to break.’