AskDefine | Define corruption

Dictionary Definition



1 lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain [syn: corruptness] [ant: incorruptness]
2 in a state of progressive putrefaction [syn: putrescence, putridness, rottenness]
3 decay of matter (as by rot or oxidation)
4 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" [syn: degeneracy, depravity]
5 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" [syn: subversion]
6 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"

User Contributed Dictionary



French corruption, from Latin corruptio


corruption (uncountable and countable; 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.
    It was necessary, by exposing the gross corruptions of monasteries, . . . to exite popular indignation against them. — Hallam
    They abstained from some of the worst methods of corruption usual to their party in its earlier days. — Bancroft
    • Usage note: Corruption, when applied to officers, trustees, etc., signifies the inducing a violation of duty by means of pecuniary considerations. — Abbott
  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 destruction of data by manipulation of parts of it, usually a result of imperfections in storage or transmission media which randomly alter parts of the data.
  6. 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. A word that has adopted from another language but whose spelling has been changed through misunderstanding, transcription error, mishearing, etc.
  8. 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. — Francis Bacon.
  9. Parts of a machine can be corrupted, meaning broken.


Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Corruption, when applied as a technical term, is a general concept describing any organized, interdependent system in which part of the system is either not performing duties it was originally intended to, or performing them in an improper way, to the detriment of the system's original purpose. Its original meaning has connotations of evil, malignance, sickness, and loss of innocence or purity.
Specific types of corruption include:
  • Political corruption, or the dysfunction of a political system or institution in which government officials, political officials or employees seek illegitimate personal gain through actions such as bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. Political corruption is a specific form of rent seeking (which is not to be confused with property rental).
  • Data corruption, or an unintended change to data in storage or in transit.
  • Linguistic corruption, or the change in meaning to a language or a text introduced by cumulative errors in transcription or changes in the language speakers' comprehension.
  • Putrefaction or decomposition of recently living matter. This physical process is the primary model of the metaphorical meaning of corruption, so advanced states of corruption in, e.g. a political structure are said to result in their putrefaction.
corruption in Catalan: Corrupció
corruption in Spanish: Corrupción
corruption in French: Corruption (homonymie)
corruption in Hindi: भ्रष्टाचार
corruption in Hungarian: Korrupció
corruption in Dutch: Corruptie
corruption in Norwegian: Korrupsjon
corruption in Norwegian Nynorsk: Korrupsjon
corruption in Polish: Korupcja
corruption in Portuguese: Corrupção
corruption in Romanian: Corupţie

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abandon, abandonment, abjection, abomination, abuse of terms, acrostic, adulteration, alienation, amphibologism, amphiboly, anagram, antiphrasis, atrocity, bad, bane, barbarism, bastardizing, befouling, befoulment, biodegradability, biodegradation, blight, brainwashing, breakup, bribery, bribery and corruption, bribing, cacoepy, cacology, calembour, carrion, college of Laputa, colloquialism, contamination, corrosion, corruptedness, corruptness, counterindoctrination, criminality, crookedness, crying evil, cutting, damage, dandruff, debasement, decadence, decadency, decay, decomposition, defilement, degeneracy, degenerateness, degeneration, degradability, degradation, demoralization, depravation, depravedness, depravity, despoliation, destruction, detriment, deviousness, dilapidation, dilution, dishonesty, dishonor, disintegration, disorganization, dissoluteness, dissolution, doctoring, envenoming, equivocality, equivoque, evasiveness, evil, excrement, false coloring, feloniousness, festering, filth, fortifying, foul matter, fouling, fraudulence, fraudulency, furfur, gammacism, gangrene, graft, grievance, harm, havoc, hurt, ill, improbity, impropriety, indirection, indoctrination, infection, infelicity, injury, jeu de mots, lacing, lambdacism, localism, logogram, logogriph, malapropism, mess, metagram, mildew, mischief, misconstruction, misdirection, misguidance, misinformation, misinstruction, misinterpretation, misknowledge, misleading, mispronunciation, misrepresentation, missaying, misspeaking, misteaching, misusage, misuse, mold, moral pollution, moral turpitude, muck, mucus, mystification, mytacism, obfuscation, obscenity, obscurantism, obscuration, ordure, outrage, oxidation, oxidization, palindrome, paralambdacism, pararhotacism, paronomasia, perversion, play on words, poison, poisoning, pollution, profligacy, prostitution, pun, punning, pus, putrid matter, reindoctrination, reprobacy, resolution, rhotacism, rot, rottenness, rust, scurf, scuz, shadiness, shiftiness, slang, slanting, slime, slipperiness, smut, snot, solecism, sophistry, sordes, spiking, spoilage, spoonerism, straining, subornation, subversion, suppuration, taboo word, the worst, torturing, toxin, trickiness, turpitude, unconscientiousness, underhandedness, ungrammaticism, unsavoriness, unscrupulousness, unstraightforwardness, venom, vexation, vitiation, vulgarism, watering, woe, wordplay, wrong
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1