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  1. of or relating to the body.
  2. corporeal or material, as contrasted with spiritual or mental.
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  1. as a physical entity; as a complete physical unit: The tornado picked him up bodily and threw him against the wall.
  2. in person: You have to appear bodily at the box office in order to have your reservation confirmed.
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Origin of bodily

First recorded in 1250–1300, bodily is from the Middle English word bodylich. See body, -ly
Related formsnon·bod·i·ly, adjective


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2. See physical.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for bodily

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His mental anguish 'was united with bodily illness and suffering.

  • But he was prominent in nothing, for prominence was to him a thing like bodily pain.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • The tail of the Angora serves as a barometer of its bodily and mental condition.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • It wears out more quickly than the bodily machine of the Englishman.

  • The sheer power of the American bodily machine, driven by the American will, is magnificent.

British Dictionary definitions for bodily


  1. relating to or being a part of the human body
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  1. by taking hold of the bodyhe threw him bodily from the platform
  2. in person; in the flesh
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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 bodily


c.1300, "pertaining to the body;" also opposed to "spiritual;" from body + -ly (1). As an adverb (with -ly (2)) from late 14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper