[kawr-puh s di-lik-tahy]
- 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”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Words for corpus delictiremains, carcass, relic, stiff, carrion, cadaver, ashes, clay, dust, deceased, bones
- 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
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