[ kawr-puhs ]
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noun,plural cor·po·ra [kawr-per-uh] /ˈkɔr pər ə/ or, sometimes, cor·pus·es.
  1. a large or complete collection of writings: the entire corpus of Old English poetry.

  2. the body of a person or animal, especially when dead.

  1. Anatomy. a body, mass, or part having a special character or function.

  2. Linguistics. a body of utterances, as words or sentences, assumed to be representative of and used for lexical, grammatical, or other linguistic analysis.

  3. a principal or capital sum, as opposed to interest or income.

Origin of corpus

First recorded in 1225–75; Middle English, from Latin

Words that may be confused with corpus

Words Nearby corpus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use corpus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for corpus


/ (ˈkɔːpəs) /

nounplural -pora (-pərə)
  1. a collection or body of writings, esp by a single author or on a specific topic: the corpus of Dickens' works

  2. the main body, section, or substance of something

  1. anatomy

    • any distinct mass or body

    • the main part of an organ or structure

  2. the inner layer or layers of cells of the meristem at a shoot tip, which produces the vascular tissue and pith: Compare tunica (def. 2)

  3. linguistics a body of data, esp the finite collection of grammatical sentences of a language that a linguistic theory seeks to describe by means of an algorithm

  4. a capital or principal sum, as contrasted with a derived income

  5. obsolete a human or animal body, esp a dead one

Origin of corpus

C14: from Latin: body

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