corpus delicti

[kawr-puh s di-lik-tahy]
See more synonyms for corpus delicti on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural cor·po·ra de·lic·ti [kawr-per-uh di-lik-tahy] /ˈkɔr pər ə dɪˈlɪk taɪ/. Law.
  1. 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.
  2. 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”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for corpus delicti

remains, carcass, relic, stiff, carrion, cadaver, ashes, clay, dust, deceased, bones

British Dictionary definitions for corpus delicti

corpus delicti

noun
  1. 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

Word Origin and History for corpus delicti

1832, Latin, literally "body of the offense;" not "the murder victim's body," but the basic elements that make up a crime; in the case of a murder, including the body of the murdered person.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper