• synonyms


[kawr-puh-suh l, -puhs-uh l]
See more synonyms for corpuscle on Thesaurus.com
  1. Biology. an unattached cell, especially of a kind that floats freely, as a blood or lymph cell.
  2. Anatomy. a small mass or body forming a more or less distinct part, as the sensory receptors at nerve terminals.
  3. Physical Chemistry. a minute or elementary particle of matter, as an electron, proton, or atom.
  4. any minute particle.
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Also cor·pus·cule [kawr-puhs-kyool] /kɔrˈpʌs kyul/.

Origin of corpuscle

1650–60; < Latin corpusculum, equivalent to corpus body + -culum -cle1
Related formscor·pus·cu·lar [kawr-puhs-kyuh-ler] /kɔrˈpʌs kyə lər/, cor·pus·cu·lat·ed [kawr-puhs-kyuh-ley-tid] /kɔrˈpʌs kyəˌleɪ tɪd/, cor·pus·cu·lous, adjectivecor·pus·cu·lar·i·ty [kawr-puhs-kyuh-lar-i-tee] /kɔrˌpʌs kyəˈlær ɪ ti/, nounin·ter·cor·pus·cu·lar, adjectivenon·cor·pus·cu·lar, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

germ, egg, unit, bacterium, beef, muscle, meat, fat, embryo, microorganism, spore, vacuole, corpuscle, follicle, utricle, weight, brawn, food, fatness, cells

Examples from the Web for corpuscle

Historical Examples

  • The ion differs from the molecule, the corpuscle and the atom in that it is an ion.

    The Devil's Dictionary

    Ambrose Bierce

  • The soldier, or so to say, the corpuscle, separating at the command "Break ranks!"

    Dona Perfecta

    B. Perez Galdos

  • Let us see about this latest theory—the Corpuscle or Electron Theory.

    Dynamic Thought

    William Walker Atkinson

  • It will be noticed that there are usually two bodies in a corpuscle.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • The body is, as a rule, situated near the edge of the corpuscle.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

British Dictionary definitions for corpuscle


  1. any cell or similar minute body that is suspended in a fluid, esp any of the red blood corpuscles (erythrocytes) or white blood corpuscles (see leucocytes)See also erythrocyte, leucocyte
  2. anatomy the encapsulated ending of a sensory nerve
  3. physics a discrete particle such as an electron, photon, ion, or atom
  4. Also called: corpuscule (kɔːˈpʌskjuːl) any minute particle
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Derived Formscorpuscular (kɔːˈpʌskjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin corpusculum a little body, from 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 corpuscle


1650s, "any small particle," from Latin corpusculum "a puny body; an atom, particle," diminutive of corpus "body" (see corporeal). First applied to blood cells 1845. Related: Corpuscular.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

corpuscle in Medicine


(kôrpə-səl, -pŭs′əl)
  1. An unattached body cell, such as a blood or lymph cell.
  2. A rounded, globular mass of cells, such as the pressure receptor on certain nerve endings.
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Related formscor•puscu•lar (kôr-pŭskyə-lər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

corpuscle in Science


  1. Any of various cellular or small multicellular structures in the body, especially a red or white blood cell.
  2. See particle.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.