Top 32 Slang For Corrupt – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to discussing corruption and unethical behavior, having the right slang at your disposal can make all the difference. From shady dealings to under-the-table transactions, understanding the language used to describe these actions is key. Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork to compile a list of top slang terms for corrupt practices that will keep you in the know and ahead of the game. Dive in and expand your vocabulary with us!

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1. Crooked

This term refers to someone who is involved in dishonest or corrupt activities. It can be used to describe individuals who engage in illegal or unethical behavior.

  • For example, “That politician is known for being crooked and accepting bribes.”
  • In a discussion about a corrupt business, someone might say, “The CEO was caught in a crooked scheme to embezzle funds.”
  • A person might warn, “Be careful dealing with that company, they have a crooked reputation.”

2. Shady

This slang term is used to describe someone or something that is suspicious or untrustworthy. It implies that there may be something deceitful or dishonest happening.

  • For instance, “I wouldn’t trust that shady character, he’s always involved in shady business deals.”
  • In a conversation about a dubious organization, someone might comment, “Their practices seem really shady, I wouldn’t get involved.”
  • A person might advise, “If something seems shady, it’s best to walk away and not take any risks.”

3. Greasy

This slang term can be used to describe someone who is corrupt or dishonest. It implies that they engage in unethical or deceitful behavior for personal gain.

  • For example, “That greasy salesman will do anything to make a sale, even lie to customers.”
  • In a discussion about a corrupt politician, someone might say, “He’s known for his greasy tactics to stay in power.”
  • A person might warn, “Watch out for greasy individuals who try to take advantage of others for their own benefit.”

4. Dirty

This term is used to describe someone or something that is corrupt or unethical. It implies that there are hidden motives or actions that go against moral standards.

  • For instance, “That dirty cop was involved in a major corruption scandal.”
  • In a conversation about a dishonest business, someone might comment, “The company’s dirty practices were exposed, leading to lawsuits.”
  • A person might advise, “Stay away from dirty politicians who only care about their own interests.”

5. Sleazy

This slang term is used to describe someone or something that is unethical or disreputable. It implies a lack of integrity or moral standards.

  • For example, “That sleazy lawyer will do anything to win a case, even if it means lying.”
  • In a discussion about a shady business, someone might say, “Their sleazy practices have resulted in numerous customer complaints.”
  • A person might caution, “Avoid sleazy individuals who will try to manipulate or deceive you for their own gain.”

6. Rotten

This term refers to someone or something that is dishonest or corrupt. It is often used to describe individuals or actions that are morally wrong or unethical.

  • For example, “That politician is rotten to the core.”
  • In a discussion about a corrupt company, someone might say, “Their business practices are rotten and need to be exposed.”
  • A person expressing their disappointment in a friend’s actions might say, “I can’t believe they did something so rotten.”

7. Fishy

When something is described as “fishy,” it means that it is suspicious or questionable. It implies that there is something not quite right or trustworthy about the situation.

  • For instance, “The sudden change in his behavior seems fishy.”
  • In a conversation about a suspicious deal, someone might say, “There’s something fishy going on here.”
  • A person expressing doubt about a story might say, “That sounds fishy to me. I don’t believe it.”

8. Underhanded

This term refers to actions that are deceptive or dishonest. It implies that someone is acting in a sneaky or deceitful manner.

  • For example, “He used underhanded tactics to win the election.”
  • In a discussion about a deceitful business practice, someone might say, “Their underhanded methods are unethical.”
  • A person expressing their disappointment in a friend’s behavior might say, “I can’t believe they would stoop so low and be so underhanded.”

9. Unscrupulous

When someone is described as “unscrupulous,” it means they are lacking moral principles. It implies that they are willing to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to achieve their goals.

  • For instance, “The unscrupulous businessman will do anything to make a profit.”
  • In a conversation about a corrupt politician, someone might say, “Their unscrupulous actions have harmed the community.”
  • A person expressing their disdain for a dishonest person might say, “I can’t trust someone who is so unscrupulous.”

10. Corrupt

This term describes someone or something that is dishonest or immoral. It refers to actions or individuals that are morally wrong or unethical.

  • For example, “The corrupt politician was caught taking bribes.”
  • In a discussion about a corrupt organization, someone might say, “Their corrupt practices need to be exposed.”
  • A person expressing their frustration with a dishonest friend might say, “I can’t believe they would stoop so low and be so corrupt.”

11. Deceitful

This term refers to someone or something that is intentionally misleading or dishonest. It implies a deliberate intent to deceive or trick others.

  • For example, “He is known for his deceitful tactics in business negotiations.”
  • In a discussion about politics, one might say, “Politicians often use deceitful tactics to gain public support.”
  • A person warning others about a scam might say, “Be careful of that deceitful website, they’re just trying to steal your information.”

12. Fraudulent

This term describes an action or behavior that is dishonest or deceitful, usually for personal gain. It implies an intent to deceive or mislead others.

  • For instance, “He was charged with fraudulent activity for falsifying financial records.”
  • In a conversation about online scams, one might say, “Be cautious of fraudulent emails asking for your personal information.”
  • A person discussing a fraudulent scheme might say, “The company engaged in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate stock prices.”

13. Swindling

This term refers to the act of cheating or scamming someone out of money or valuables through deceit or fraud.

  • For example, “He was arrested for swindling elderly individuals out of their life savings.”
  • In a discussion about online scams, one might say, “Beware of phishing emails that attempt to swindle you out of your personal information.”
  • A person warning others about a fraudulent scheme might say, “Don’t fall for their swindling tactics, they’re just trying to take advantage of you.”

14. Dishonorable

This term describes someone or something that lacks integrity or moral principles. It implies a lack of honesty, fairness, or trustworthiness.

  • For instance, “His dishonorable actions led to the downfall of his career.”
  • In a conversation about political scandals, one might say, “The politician’s dishonorable behavior tarnished the reputation of the entire party.”
  • A person discussing a dishonest business practice might say, “Their dishonorable actions are a clear violation of ethical standards.”

15. Illicit

This term refers to something that is illegal, forbidden, or not permitted by law or societal norms.

  • For example, “He was involved in illicit activities such as drug trafficking.”
  • In a discussion about corruption, one might say, “Illicit practices undermine the integrity of the system.”
  • A person warning others about a scam might say, “Don’t get involved in any illicit schemes, they’re just going to get you in trouble.”

16. Malicious

This term refers to someone or something that has harmful or evil intentions. It can describe actions or behaviors that are intended to cause harm or damage.

  • For example, “The hacker launched a malicious attack on the company’s website.”
  • A person might say, “He spread malicious rumors about his ex-girlfriend.”
  • In a discussion about cybercrime, someone might mention, “Malicious software can infect your computer and steal your personal information.”

17. Treacherous

This word is used to describe someone who is untrustworthy or disloyal. It implies a betrayal of trust and often refers to actions or behaviors that are intended to deceive or harm others.

  • For instance, “The treacherous politician promised one thing and did the opposite.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might say, “She broke my heart with her treacherous actions.”
  • A person discussing business might warn, “Be careful of treacherous partners who might steal your ideas.”

18. Scandalous

This term describes something that is shocking, outrageous, or morally offensive. It often refers to actions or behaviors that go against societal norms or expectations.

  • For example, “The scandalous affair between the two celebrities made headlines.”
  • In a discussion about politics, someone might say, “The politician was involved in a scandalous corruption case.”
  • A person discussing fashion might comment, “Her outfit choice was scandalous and caused quite a stir.”

19. Miscreant

This word is used to describe someone who behaves badly or engages in wrongful actions. It implies a sense of moral or ethical wrongdoing.

  • For instance, “The miscreant was caught stealing from the store.”
  • In a conversation about crime, someone might say, “The police are searching for the miscreant responsible for the vandalism.”
  • A person discussing ethics might argue, “Miscreant behavior should be punished to maintain a just society.”

20. Unethical

This term describes actions or behaviors that are considered morally wrong or in violation of ethical standards. It implies a lack of integrity or honesty.

  • For example, “The company engaged in unethical business practices to maximize profits.”
  • In a discussion about research, someone might say, “Falsifying data is highly unethical and undermines scientific integrity.”
  • A person discussing journalism might comment, “Publishing false information is unethical and damages the credibility of the media.”

21. Corruptible

This term refers to someone or something that is susceptible to corruption or can be easily influenced to act dishonestly. It implies a lack of moral integrity or resistance to unethical behavior.

  • For example, “The corruptible politician accepted a large sum of money in exchange for political favors.”
  • In a discussion about ethics, one might argue, “Even the most honest person can be corruptible under certain circumstances.”
  • A news article might mention, “The company’s corruptible practices led to a major scandal and loss of public trust.”

22. Immoral

This term describes actions or behavior that goes against accepted moral principles or standards. It implies a lack of integrity or disregard for what is considered right or wrong.

  • For instance, “Engaging in bribery is an immoral act that undermines the integrity of the system.”
  • In a debate about personal values, someone might say, “Cheating on a test is an immoral behavior that should not be tolerated.”
  • A news headline might read, “The company’s immoral business practices exposed in a damning report.”

23. Amoral

This term describes someone or something that is neither moral nor immoral, but rather lacks moral judgment or a sense of right and wrong. It implies a disregard for ethical considerations.

  • For example, “The amoral corporation prioritizes profits over the well-being of its employees.”
  • In a discussion about ethics, someone might argue, “Animals are amoral beings, as they do not possess a moral compass.”
  • A book review might state, “The protagonist of the novel is an amoral character who navigates the morally ambiguous world of crime.”

24. Unprincipled

This term describes someone who lacks moral principles or values and is willing to act dishonestly or immorally for personal gain. It implies a disregard for ethical standards.

  • For instance, “The unprincipled businessman exploited his employees for maximum profit.”
  • In a conversation about integrity, one might say, “An unprincipled individual will always find a way to justify their unethical actions.”
  • A news article might report, “The unprincipled politician was caught accepting bribes from lobbyists.”

25. Malfeasant

This term refers to someone who engages in illegal or dishonest activities, especially while in a position of trust or authority. It implies a deliberate intent to act corruptly or unlawfully.

  • For example, “The malfeasant executive embezzled millions of dollars from the company.”
  • In a discussion about accountability, someone might argue, “Malfeasant individuals should be held responsible for their actions.”
  • A news headline might read, “The malfeasant police officer was arrested for planting evidence.”

26. Mercenary

This term refers to someone who is willing to do anything for money, even if it involves illegal or unethical activities. A mercenary is often used to describe a person who accepts bribes or engages in corrupt practices in exchange for financial gain.

  • For example, a journalist might write, “The corrupt politician was accused of being a mercenary, accepting bribes from multiple companies.”
  • In a discussion about corruption in sports, someone might say, “The referee was suspected of being a mercenary, deliberately making bad calls in exchange for money.”
  • A person criticizing a business might comment, “The CEO’s mercenary behavior led to the company’s downfall.”

27. Perfidious

This term refers to someone who is dishonest and untrustworthy, often betraying the trust of others for personal gain. Perfidious is a slang term used to describe individuals who engage in corrupt practices or manipulate others for their own benefit.

  • For instance, a news article might state, “The perfidious businessman embezzled millions of dollars from his own company.”
  • In a conversation about politics, someone might say, “The perfidious politician made false promises to gain votes and then betrayed the public’s trust.”
  • A person discussing corruption in relationships might comment, “Her perfidious actions destroyed their marriage and shattered his trust.”

28. Machiavellian

This term refers to someone who is cunning, deceitful, and willing to use any means necessary to achieve their goals. Machiavellian is often used to describe individuals who engage in corrupt practices or who manipulate others for personal gain.

  • For example, a psychologist might write, “The CEO’s machiavellian behavior created a toxic work environment.”
  • In a discussion about politics, someone might say, “The machiavellian politician used fear tactics to gain power and control.”
  • A person analyzing a business strategy might comment, “The company’s machiavellian approach to competition involved sabotaging their rivals and manipulating the market.”

29. Collusive

This term refers to individuals who engage in secret agreements or partnerships to deceive or defraud others. Collusive is often used to describe corrupt practices where multiple parties conspire to achieve their own selfish goals at the expense of others.

  • For instance, a news article might state, “The collusive group of businessmen rigged the bidding process to ensure their company won the contract.”
  • In a conversation about organized crime, someone might say, “The collusive gang members worked together to control the drug trade in the city.”
  • A person discussing corruption in government might comment, “The collusive politicians formed a secret alliance to protect their own interests and maintain their power.”

30. Exploitative

This term refers to individuals who take advantage of others for personal gain, often in a way that is unethical or immoral. Exploitative is often used to describe corrupt practices where individuals or organizations use their power or influence to exploit and oppress others.

  • For example, a social worker might write, “The exploitative employer paid their workers below minimum wage and denied them basic rights.”
  • In a discussion about human trafficking, someone might say, “The exploitative traffickers preyed on vulnerable individuals and forced them into labor or prostitution.”
  • A person criticizing a company might comment, “Their exploitative business practices prioritize profits over the well-being of their employees and customers.”

31. Conniving

This term refers to someone who is cunning, crafty, and willing to use dishonest tactics to achieve their goals. It implies a sense of underhandedness and manipulation.

  • For example, “He’s a conniving businessman who will do whatever it takes to get ahead.”
  • In a political context, someone might say, “The conniving politician lied to the public to win their votes.”
  • A person discussing a manipulative friend might say, “I can’t trust her, she’s conniving and always plotting something.”

32. Degenerate

This term is used to describe someone who has fallen into a state of moral decline or decay. It suggests a person who is corrupt, immoral, or lacking in principles.

  • For instance, “He’s a degenerate gambler who has lost everything.”
  • In a discussion about societal decay, someone might say, “Our culture is becoming more degenerate with each passing generation.”
  • A person describing a corrupt organization might say, “The company’s leadership is filled with degenerate individuals who prioritize their own interests over the well-being of their employees.”
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