a dead body, usually of a human being.
something no longer useful or viable: rusting corpses of old cars.
Obsolete. a human or animal body, whether alive or dead.

Nearby words

  1. corposant,
  2. corps,
  3. corps de ballet,
  4. corps diplomatique,
  5. corps of engineers,
  6. corpsman,
  7. corpulence,
  8. corpulent,
  9. corpus,
  10. corpus albicans

Origin of corpse

1225–75; Middle English corps; orig. spelling variant of cors corse but the p is now sounded

Can be confusedcore corp. corps corpse corpus

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for corpse

British Dictionary definitions for corpse



a dead body, esp of a human being; cadaver


theatre slang to laugh or cause to laugh involuntarily or inopportunely while on stage

Word Origin for corpse

C14: from Old French corps body, from Latin corpus 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 corpse



1540s, variant spelling of corps (q.v.). The -p- originally was silent, as in French, and with some speakers still is. The terminal -e was rare before 19c. Corpse-candle is attested from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for corpse




A dead body, especially the dead body of a human.
A cadaver.

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