noun, plural bod·ies.

verb (used with object), bod·ied, bod·y·ing.

to invest with or as with a body.
to represent in bodily form (usually followed by forth).


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

Nearby words

  1. bodley, george frederick,
  2. bodmin,
  3. bodoni,
  4. bodoni, giambattista,
  5. bodvar bjarki,
  6. body armour,
  7. body art,
  8. body bag,
  9. body beautiful,
  10. body blow


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

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

Synonym study

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for body

British Dictionary definitions for body


noun plural bodies

  1. the entire physical structure of an animal or human beingRelated adjectives: corporeal, physical
  2. (as modifier)body odour
the flesh, as opposed to the spiritwhile we are still in the body
the trunk or torso, not including the limbs, head, or tail
a dead human or animal; corpse
the largest or main part of anythingthe body of a vehicle; the body of a plant
a separate or distinct mass of water or land
the main part; majoritythe body of public opinion
the central part of a written workthe body of a thesis as opposed to the footnotes
a number of individuals regarded as a single entity; groupthe student body; they marched in a body
maths a three-dimensional region with an interior
physics an object or substance that has three dimensions, a mass, and is distinguishable from surrounding objects
fullness in the appearance of the hair
the characteristic full quality of certain wines, determined by the density and the content of alcohol or tannina Burgundy has a heavy body
substance or firmness, esp of cloth
the sound box of a guitar, violin, or similar stringed instrument
a woman's close-fitting one-piece garment for the torso
the part of a dress covering the body from the shoulders to the waist
another name for shank (def. 11)
  1. the pigment contained in or added to paint, dye, etc
  2. the opacity of a paint in covering a surface
  3. the apparent viscosity of a paint
(in watercolour painting)
  1. a white filler mixed with pigments to make them opaque
  2. (as modifier)body colour See also gouache
printing the measurement from top to bottom of a piece of type, usually ascender to descender
an informal or dialect word for a person
keep body and soul together to manage to keep alive; survive
(modifier) of or relating to the main reading matter of a book as distinct from headings, illustrations, appendices, etcthe body text

verb bodies, bodying or bodied (tr)

(usually foll by forth) to give a body or shape to

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for body



Old English bodig "trunk, chest" (of a man or animal); related to Old High German botah, of unknown origin. Not elsewhere in Germanic, and the word has died out in German (replaced by leib, originally "life," and körper, from Latin). In English, extension to "person" is from late 13c. Meaning "main part" of anything was in late Old English, hence its use in reference to vehicles (1520s).

Contrasted with soul since at least mid-13c. Meaning "corpse" (short for dead body) is from late 13c. Transferred to matter generally in Middle English (e.g. heavenly body, late 14c.). Body politic "the nation, the state" first recorded 1520s, legalese, with French word order. Body image was coined 1935. Body language is attested from 1967, perhaps from French langage corporel (1966). Phrase over my dead body attested by 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for body




The entire material or physical structure of an organism, especially of a human.
The physical part of a person.
A corpse or carcass.
The trunk or torso of a human, as distinguished from the head, neck, and extremities.
The largest or principal part, as of an organ; corpus.
A physical thing or kind of substance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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.