[ kawr-puh s ]
/ ˈkɔr pəs /

noun, plural cor·po·ra [kawr-per-uh] /ˈkɔr pər ə/ or, sometimes, cor·pus·es.

a large or complete collection of writings: the entire corpus of Old English poetry.
the body of a person or animal, especially when dead.
Anatomy. a body, mass, or part having a special character or function.
Linguistics. a body of utterances, as words or sentences, assumed to be representative of and used for lexical, grammatical, or other linguistic analysis.
a principal or capital sum, as opposed to interest or income.

Origin of corpus

1225–75; Middle English < Latin
Can be confusedcore corp. corps corpse corpus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for corpus

British Dictionary definitions for corpus


/ (ˈkɔːpəs) /

noun plural -pora (-pərə)

Word Origin for corpus

C14: from Latin: 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 corpus



(plural corpora), late 14c., from Latin corpus, literally "body" (see corporeal). The sense of "body of a person" (mid-15c. in English) and "collection of facts or things" (1727 in English) both were present in Latin. Corpus Christi (late 14c.), feast of the Blessed Sacrament, is the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Also used in various medical phrases, e.g. corpus callosum (1706, literally "tough body"), corpus luteum (1788, literally "yellow body").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for corpus


[ kôrpəs ]

n. pl. cor•po•ra (-pər-ə)

The human body, consisting of the head, neck, trunk, and limbs.
The main part of a bodily structure or organ.
A distinct bodily mass or organ having a specific function.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.