• synonyms


[kawr-per-uh l, -pruh l]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. of the human body; bodily; physical: corporal suffering.
  2. Zoology. of the body proper, as distinguished from the head and limbs.
  3. personal: corporal possession.
  4. Obsolete. corporeal; belonging to the material world.

Origin of corporal1

1350–1400; Middle English corporall (< Anglo-French) < Latin corporālis bodily, equivalent to corpor- (stem of corpus corpus) + -ālis -al1
Related formscor·po·ral·i·ty, nouncor·po·ral·ly, adverb


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. material. See physical.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for corporally

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for corporally


  1. of or relating to the body; bodily
  2. an obsolete word for corporeal
Derived Formscorporality, nouncorporally, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Latin corporālis of the body, from corpus body


  1. a noncommissioned officer junior to a sergeant in the army, air force, or marines
  2. (in the Royal Navy) a petty officer who assists the master-at-arms
Derived Formscorporalship, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Old French, via Italian, from Latin caput head; perhaps also influenced in Old French by corps body (of men)


corporale (ˌkɔːpəˈreɪlɪ)

  1. a white linen cloth on which the bread and wine are placed during the Eucharist

Word Origin

C14: from Medieval Latin corporāle pallium eucharistic altar cloth, from Latin corporālis belonging to the body, from corpus body (of Christ)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for corporally



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper