Definition of corruption in English:


Line breaks: cor|rup¦tion
Pronunciation: /kəˈrʌpʃ(ə)n


[mass noun]
  • 2The process by which a word or expression is changed from its original state to one regarded as erroneous or debased: a record of a word’s corruption [count noun]: the term ‘hobgoblin’ is thought to be a corruption of ‘Robgoblin’
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    • 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.
    • 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.
    • I am disinterested in their games, parties, loves and hates - and frequently distressed by their corruptions of the language.
  • 2.1The process by which a computer database or program becomes debased by alteration or the introduction of errors: this procedure creates a temporary file to prevent accidental corruption
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    • This can cause data corruption, particularly with databases.
    • Access errors lead to data corruption, which causes a program to behave incorrectly or crash.
    • The tool enables the user to choose which records to display and includes safety mechanisms to prevent accidental data corruption.
  • 3 archaic The process of decay; putrefaction: the potato turned black and rotten with corruption
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    • 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.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin corruptio(n-), from corrumpere 'mar, bribe, destroy' (see corrupt).

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