corpus delicti

[ kawr-puh s di-lik-tahy ]
/ ˈkɔr pəs dɪˈlɪk taɪ /

noun, plural cor·po·ra de·lic·ti [kawr-per-uh di-lik-tahy] /ˈkɔr pər ə dɪˈlɪk taɪ/. Law.

the basic element or elements of a crime, as, in murder, the death of the murdered person; the body of facts or evidence showing that a crime has been committed.
the object, as the body of a murdered person, upon which a crime has been committed and that serves as evidence proving that the crime was committed.

Origin of corpus delicti

1825–35; < New Latin: “body of the offense” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for corpus delicti

corpus delicti
/ (dɪˈlɪktaɪ) /


law the body of facts that constitute an offence

Word Origin for corpus delicti

New Latin, literally: the body of the crime
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