[ kawr-puh-suh l, -puhs-uh l ]
/ ˈkɔr pə səl, -pʌs əl /


Biology. an unattached cell, especially of a kind that floats freely, as a blood or lymph cell.
Anatomy. a small mass or body forming a more or less distinct part, as the sensory receptors at nerve terminals.
Physical Chemistry. a minute or elementary particle of matter, as an electron, proton, or atom.
any minute particle.

Nearby words

  1. corpus luteum,
  2. corpus luteum hormone,
  3. corpus spongiosum,
  4. corpus striatum,
  5. corpus vile,
  6. corpuscular,
  7. corpuscular lymph,
  8. corpuscular radiation,
  9. corpuscular theory,
  10. corpuscule

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for corpuscule


/ (ˈkɔːpʌsəl) /


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
anatomy the encapsulated ending of a sensory nerve
physics a discrete particle such as an electron, photon, ion, or atom
Also called: corpuscule (kɔːˈpʌskjuːl) any minute particle
Derived Formscorpuscular (kɔːˈpʌskjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin for corpuscle

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 corpuscule



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for corpuscule


[ kôrpə-səl, -pŭs′əl ]


An unattached body cell, such as a blood or lymph cell.
A rounded, globular mass of cells, such as the pressure receptor on certain nerve endings.
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.

Science definitions for corpuscule


[ kôrpə-səl ]

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