a dead body, especially a human body to be dissected; corpse.

Origin of cadaver

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin cadāver dead body, corpse; akin to cadere to fall, perish (see decay, chance)
Related formsca·dav·er·ic, adjective

Synonym study

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

Related Words for cadaver

corpse, skeleton, carcass, remains, body, cage, deceased, stiff, mort

Examples from the Web for cadaver

Contemporary Examples of cadaver

Historical Examples of cadaver

  • They had taken a cadaver from the refrigerator and stood it in a certain position.

    The White Desert

    Courtney Ryley Cooper

  • Cremate the cadaver together with the board upon which it is fixed.

  • "Stand to one side and hold the cadaver's chin, Brion," she said.

    Planet of the Damned

    Harry Harrison

  • She had caught a rat, killed it, and laid the cadaver in the door.

    The Goose Man

    Jacob Wassermann

  • Reminded you, perhaps, of the faint odor of a cadaver far off?

    The Iron Ration

    George Abel Schreiner

British Dictionary definitions for cadaver



med a corpse
Derived Formscadaveric, adjective

Word Origin for cadaver

C16: from Latin, from cadere to fall
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 cadaver

c.1500, from Latin cadaver "dead body (of men or animals)," probably from a perfective participle of cadere "to fall, sink, settle down, decline, perish" (see case (n.1)). Cf. Greek ptoma "dead body," literally "a fall" (see ptomaine); poetic English the fallen "those who died in battle."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cadaver in Medicine




A dead body, especially one intended for dissection.
Related formsca•daver•ic (-ər-ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.