[kawr-puh-rey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for corporation on
  1. an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.See also municipal corporation, public corporation.
  2. (initial capital letter) the group of principal officials of a borough or other municipal division in England.
  3. any group of persons united or regarded as united in one body.
  4. Informal. a paunch; potbelly.

Origin of corporation

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin corporātiōn- (stem of corporātiō) ‘guild’, Latin: ‘physical makeup, build’. See corporate, -ion
Related formscor·po·ra·tion·al, adjectivemul·ti·cor·po·ra·tion, nounnon·cor·po·ra·tion, nounsub·cor·po·ra·tion, nounsu·per·cor·po·ra·tion, noun

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

Examples from the Web for corporation

Contemporary Examples of corporation

Historical Examples of corporation

  • The corporation for pecuniary gain has neither body nor soul.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • The Corporation of Dublin is red-hot in the matter of patriotism.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Creditors pursued him, and he lost his standing in the Corporation.

    William Shakespeare

    Samuel Levy Bensusan

  • The chair is still preserved by the corporation of that town.

    Bygone Punishments

    William Andrews

  • The civic duties of the corporation, too, were sharply defined.


    Beatrice Fortescue

British Dictionary definitions for corporation


  1. a group of people authorized by law to act as a legal personality and having its own powers, duties, and liabilities
  2. Also called: municipal corporation the municipal authorities of a city or town
  3. a group of people acting as one body
  4. See public corporation
  5. informal a large paunch or belly
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 corporation

mid-15c., "persons united in a body for some purpose," from such use in Anglo-Latin, from Late Latin corporationem (nominative corporatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin corporare "to embody" (see corporate). Meaning "legally authorized entity" (including municipal governments and modern business companies) is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

corporation in Culture


A business organization owned by a group of stockholders, each of whom enjoys limited liability (that is, each can be held responsible for losses only up to the limit of his or her investment). A corporation has the ability to raise capital by selling stock to the public.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.