From the Latin corruptio / corruptēla ''that which corrupts: corruption, seduction, bribery' from corrumpo 'to break to pieces, etc.'.
A corruption in a text is an innovation in a textual tradition that makes no sense. If the corruption can be traced back to the archetype, the editor has to resort to conjecture or mark the reading as a locus desperatus that cannot be understood or emended with the current knowledge of the text.
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