Definition: Corruption

From New World Encyclopedia


Borrowed from French corruption, from Latin corruptiƍ.


corruption (countable and uncountable, 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.
  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. Unethical administrative or executive practices (in government or business), including bribery (offering or receiving bribes), conflicts of interest, nepotism, and so on.
  6. (computing) 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.
  7. The act of changing, or of being changed, for the worse; departure from what is pure, simple, or correct.
    a corruption of style
    corruption of innocence
  8. Something originally good or pure that has turned evil or impure; a perversion.


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors copied and adjusted this Wiktionary entry in accordance with NWE standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here: