- of the human body; bodily; physical: corporal suffering.
- Zoology. of the body proper, as distinguished from the head and limbs.
- personal: corporal possession.
- Obsolete. corporeal; belonging to the material world.
Origin of corporal1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a noncommissioned officer ranking above a private first class in the U.S. Army or lance corporal in the Marines and below a sergeant.
- a similar rank in the armed services of other countries.
- (initial capital letter) a U.S. surface-to-surface, single-stage ballistic missile.
Origin of corporal2
- a fine cloth, usually of linen, on which the consecrated elements are placed or with which they are covered.
Origin of corporal3
Examples from the Web for corporal
In an act of corporal punishment that we at the Daily Beast do not condone, Joseph grabbed Him by the ear and “pulled hard.”Was Baby Jesus A Holy Terror?
December 21, 2014
By the end of his life, the memories of corporal punishment at the hands of his teachers were vivid.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Moreover, corporal punishment has the undesirable quality that the more you use it, the less effective it becomes.Why Adrian Peterson Changed My Mind on Spanking
September 17, 2014
What surrounds Corporal Kincaid is a compelling portrait of a family in crisis.
What gives Corporal Kincaid his outsider status is his war experience.
He asked for a corporal or a sergeant who could write and stand fire at the same time.The Boy Life of Napoleon
This, however, did not prevent him from calling lustily for the "corporal of the guard."Cleveland Past and Present
To the corporal's inquiry he replied that Ferry had just passed on.
A corporal was shaking me and whispering "Make no noise; mount and fall in."
We've jammed it, corporal, but another good kick will fetch it; now!
- of or relating to the body; bodily
- an obsolete word for corporeal
- a noncommissioned officer junior to a sergeant in the army, air force, or marines
- (in the Royal Navy) a petty officer who assists the master-at-arms
- a white linen cloth on which the bread and wine are placed during the Eucharist
Word Origin and History for corporal
lowest noncommissioned army officer, 1570s, from Middle French corporal, from Italian caporale "a corporal," from capo "chief, head," from Latin caput "head" (see capitulum). So called because he was in charge of a body of troops. Perhaps influenced by Italian corpo, from Latin corps "body." Or corps may be the source and caput the influence, as the OED suggests.
"of or belonging to the body," late 14c., from Old French corporal (12c., Modern French corporel) "of the body, physical, strong," from Latin corporalis "pertaining to the body," from corpus (genitive corporis) "body" (see corps). Corporal punishment "punishment of the body" (as opposed to fine or loss of rank or privilege) is from 1580s. Related: Corporality.