[ bod-ee ]
See synonyms for: bodybodiedbodiesbodying on

noun,plural bod·ies.
  1. the physical structure and material substance of an animal or plant, living or dead.

  2. a corpse; carcass.

  1. the trunk or main mass of a thing: the body of a tree.

  2. Anatomy, Zoology. the physical structure of a human being or animal, not including the head, limbs, and tail; trunk; torso.

  3. Architecture. the principal mass of a building.

  4. the section of a vehicle, usually in the shape of a box, cylindrical container, or platform, in or on which passengers or the load is carried.

  5. Nautical. the hull of a ship.

  6. Aeronautics. the fuselage of a plane.

  7. Printing. the shank of a type, supporting the face.

  8. Geometry. a figure having the three dimensions of length, breadth, and thickness; a solid.

  9. Physics. a mass, especially one considered as a whole.

  10. the major portion of an army, population, etc.: The body of the American people favors the president's policy.

  11. the principal part of a speech or document, minus introduction, conclusion, indexes, etc.

  12. a person: She's a quiet sort of body.

  13. Law. the physical person of an individual.

  14. a collective group: student body; corporate body.

  15. Also called heavenly body .Astronomy. an object in space, as a planet or star.

  16. a separate physical mass or quantity, especially as distinguished from other masses or quantities.

  17. consistency or density; richness; substance: This wine has good body.Wool has more body than rayon.

  18. the part of a dress that covers the trunk or the part of the trunk above the waist.

  19. Ceramics. the basic material of which a ceramic article is made.

verb (used with object),bod·ied, bod·y·ing.
  1. to invest with or as with a body.

  2. to represent in bodily form (usually followed by forth).

  1. of or relating to the body; bodily.

  2. of or relating to the main reading matter of a book, article, etc., as opposed to headings, illustrations, or the like.

Idioms about body

  1. in a body, as a group; together; collectively: We left the party in a body.

  2. keep body and soul together, to support oneself; maintain life: Few writers can make enough to keep body and soul together without another occupation.

Origin of body

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English bodig; akin to Old High German botah

synonym study For body

1, 2. Body, carcass, corpse, cadaver agree in referring to a physical organism, usually human or animal. Body refers to the material organism of an individual, human or animal, either living or dead: the muscles in a horse's body; the body of a victim ( human or animal ). Carcass refers only to the dead body of an animal, unless applied humorously or contemptuously to the human body: a sheep's carcass; Save your carcass. Corpse refers only to the dead body of a human being: preparing a corpse for burial. Cadaver refers to a dead body, usually a corpse, particularly one used for scientific study: dissection of cadavers in anatomy classes.

Other words for body

Opposites for body

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

How to use body in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for body


/ (ˈbɒdɪ) /

nounplural bodies
    • the entire physical structure of an animal or human being: Related adjectives: corporeal, physical

    • (as modifier): body odour

  1. the flesh, as opposed to the spirit: while we are still in the body

  1. the trunk or torso, not including the limbs, head, or tail

  2. a dead human or animal; corpse

  3. the largest or main part of anything: the body of a vehicle; the body of a plant

  4. a separate or distinct mass of water or land

  5. the main part; majority: the body of public opinion

  6. the central part of a written work: the body of a thesis as opposed to the footnotes

  7. a number of individuals regarded as a single entity; group: the student body; they marched in a body

  8. maths a three-dimensional region with an interior

  9. physics an object or substance that has three dimensions, a mass, and is distinguishable from surrounding objects

  10. fullness in the appearance of the hair

  11. the characteristic full quality of certain wines, determined by the density and the content of alcohol or tannin: a Burgundy has a heavy body

  12. substance or firmness, esp of cloth

  13. the sound box of a guitar, violin, or similar stringed instrument

  14. a woman's close-fitting one-piece garment for the torso

  15. the part of a dress covering the body from the shoulders to the waist

  16. another name for shank (def. 11)

    • the pigment contained in or added to paint, dye, etc

    • the opacity of a paint in covering a surface

    • the apparent viscosity of a paint

  17. (in watercolour painting)

    • a white filler mixed with pigments to make them opaque

    • (as modifier): body colour See also gouache

  18. printing the measurement from top to bottom of a piece of type, usually ascender to descender

  19. an informal or dialect word for a person

  20. keep body and soul together to manage to keep alive; survive

  21. (modifier) of or relating to the main reading matter of a book as distinct from headings, illustrations, appendices, etc: the body text

verbbodies, bodying or bodied (tr)
  1. (usually foll by forth) to give a body or shape to

Origin of body

Old English bodig; related to Old Norse buthkr box, Old High German botah 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with body


In addition to the idioms beginning with body

  • body blow
  • body English

also see:

  • keep body and soul together
  • over my dead body

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.