Definition of corruption in US English:



  • 1Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

    ‘the journalist who wants to expose corruption in high places’
    • ‘He claimed that the investigation had shown allegations of insider trading, bribery and corruption to be false.’
    • ‘This produces a perfect environment for corruption, bribery and insider-dealing.’
    • ‘He said he supported the role of the media in exposing corruption, dishonesty and malpractice in public life.’
    • ‘The king promised to cut unemployment, improve the fight against crime and corruption, and fight tax evasion.’
    • ‘Out of the abyss came mafia mobs, large-scale bribery and corruption.’
    • ‘My stories have sent people to jail, sparked governmental reforms and exposed corruption and wrongdoing.’
    • ‘Recent years have witnessed an exponential growth of the twin evils of corruption and criminalization.’
    • ‘The charges include bribery, corruption, violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.’
    • ‘Other than that, the law has only had limited effect in monitoring corruption among government officials.’
    • ‘They're charged with drug trafficking, attempted bribery and corruption.’
    • ‘These criminals live big off the bribery, corruption and inefficiency of the transport division.’
    • ‘Research at the World Bank, reported in the 1997 World Development Report, has shown that corruption has strong adverse effects on investment and economic growth.’
    • ‘Their businesses were often taken over or destroyed, and bribery and corruption were the norm in the courtroom and in lawmaking.’
    • ‘No, he concludes; there was no conspiracy, just grotesque incompetence coupled with a deeply immoral acceptance of corruption when it suits.’
    • ‘They're a sad political legacy of decades of corruption and misrule.’
    • ‘The former finance minister, now the main figure for the opposition, says he was the victim of a plot to prevent him from reaching power and exposing corruption.’
    • ‘Bordered by nine countries, its mineral wealth is brazenly plundered, made possible by an infernally weak state in which corruption, violence and lawlessness are rife.’
    • ‘The business survey will assess the effects of corruption on investment and productivity.’
    • ‘Legislative bribery and corruption were common.’
    • ‘The first looks at sustainable development and good governance and notes the corrosive effect of corruption.’
    dishonesty, dishonest dealings, unscrupulousness, deceit, deception, duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, fraudulence, misconduct, lawbreaking, crime, criminality, delinquency, wrongdoing, villainy
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    1. 1.1 The action of making someone or something morally depraved or the state of being so.
      ‘the word “addict” conjures up evil and corruption’
      • ‘In other words, no particular acts were necessary in order to establish depravity and corruption.’
      • ‘The novel paints a more detailed picture and asks questions about its oppression, brutality and corruption to which only the revolution could provide answers.’
      • ‘He continued to talk animatedly about corruption and perversion for quite some time, before the pastor finally managed to steer the conversation away to firmer ground.’
      • ‘It is no longer a secret that every communal atrocity, every instance of corruption and oppression, presupposes political protection and patronage.’
      • ‘It highlights corruption, evil and destruction in a pretty raw way.’
      • ‘With the possibility of such intense holiness available, nowhere else do we find something containing such potential for corruption and depravity.’
      • ‘He sinned, and his nature was thereby corrupted and depraved; and this corruption is conveyed to all his posterity.’
      • ‘His actions are not occasioned by any corruption or depravity in him, but by an error in judgment, which, however, does arise from a defect of character.’
      • ‘She does not die as a victim, but having forgiven her executioners, she talks back at them and tries to show them their corruption, perversion and inhumanity.’
      • ‘Righting wrongs and fighting evil, corruption, wickedness and stupidity is just part time work.’
      • ‘The aura of poverty, corruption, and urban decay is overpowering.’
      • ‘‘In a climate of corruption and decay, the truth is an act of rebellion’.’
      sin, sinfulness, ungodliness, unrighteousness, profanity, impiety, impurity
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  • 2The process by which something, typically a word or expression, is changed from its original use or meaning to one that is regarded as erroneous or debased.

    • ‘But when poorly understood or practiced, the language of ‘hospitality’ also can tempt us to distortions and corruptions that generate sentimentality or cynicism.’
    • ‘Barolini's love for language is evident throughout the book as well; much of the prose is concerned with ferreting out word origins, with word play, corruptions, and evolution.’
    • ‘The names for this plant in Trinidad and Dominica are corruptions of the French name for the Jerusalem artichoke.’
    • ‘They were necessary, he argued, in order to ‘shew the corruptions of the printed copies of either editions.’’
    • ‘Thus these ‘corruptions ‘while corruptions of text should only be considered a problem if they are corruptions of truth.’’
    • ‘The numerous textual corruptions also contribute to this difficulty’ .’
    • ‘I am disinterested in their games, parties, loves and hates - and frequently distressed by their corruptions of the language.’
    • ‘However, all phoneticians and linguists agree that the widely held view that many accents are corruptions of a pure pronunciation has no scientific basis whatsoever.’
    • ‘Johnson would have none of it: he scorned the lexicographer who deluded himself that he could ‘embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay’.’
    alteration, falsification, doctoring, manipulation, manipulating, fudging, adulteration, debasement, degradation, abuse, subversion, misrepresentation, misapplication
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    1. 2.1 The process of causing errors to appear in a computer program or database.
      • ‘The write-only nature of CDs would also prevent any corruption on one from contaminating the other CDs.’
      • ‘With each failure, the risk of a serious loss mounts, should a disk crash or a database corruption occur.’
      • ‘With an organized history of tape archives, data can be protected from corruption by viruses or operating system problems that can lead to lost data.’
      • ‘It will not only protect users against viruses and software corruption, but also secures content delivery and downloads.’
      • ‘This can cause data corruption, particularly with databases.’
      • ‘Access errors lead to data corruption, which causes a program to behave incorrectly or crash.’
      • ‘This greatly speeds the snapshot process since, during this time, there can be no access to data to achieve consistency and prevent data corruption.’
      • ‘Upon rebooting I was thrilled to receive no errors of any kind, but to my disappointment during the next boot I was greeted with the same corruption error as before.’
      • ‘Small hiccups in network transport can cause file corruptions.’
      • ‘The tool enables the user to choose which records to display and includes safety mechanisms to prevent accidental data corruption.’
      • ‘This is especially important for databases, to prevent making any corruption or data loss worse than it already might be.’
      • ‘Using a host-based file system may expose you to viruses, file corruption, and accidental or malicious file deletion.’
      • ‘Many times the effects of data corruption are delayed.’
      • ‘Fortunately, when the drive fails due to firmware corruption, the data is usually fully recoverable once the drive has been repaired.’
      • ‘Is there older technology in the network that would impede bringing information back online in case of data corruption or damage?’
      • ‘Beyond hardware failures, disruptions to data access can also come from human errors, data corruption or natural disasters.’
      • ‘Though both improve the backup process, neither protects against data corruption in the short term and still requires tape backup.’
      • ‘Usually, pixel corruption is often a leading indicator of bad memory on the graphics card.’
      • ‘Whenever an error occurs in such a process, data corruption is usually the result.’
      • ‘If you have virus scanning software, this is the one time I'd recommend turning it off - I've experienced file corruptions and crashes as the virus scanning software checks the files I'm burning.’
  • 3archaic Decay; putrefaction.

    ‘the potato turned black and rotten with corruption’
    • ‘I became acquainted with the science of anatomy: but this was not sufficient; I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body.’
    decay, degradation, degeneration, breakdown, decomposition, rot, putrefaction, spoliation, perishing
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Middle English: via Old French from Latin corruptio(n-), from corrumpere ‘mar, bribe, destroy’ (see corrupt).