\ ˈbä-dē How to pronounce body (audio) \
plural bodies

Definition of body

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the main part of a plant or animal body especially as distinguished from limbs and head : trunk held her arms close to her body a bird with a yellow body and head and black markings on its wings
b : the main, central, or principal part: such as
(1) architecture : the nave of a church
(2) : the bed or box of a vehicle on or in which the load is placed
(3) : the enclosed or partly enclosed part of an automobile the truck's body, hood, and fenders
2a : the organized physical substance of an animal or plant either living or dead She has a muscular body. body parts normal body temperature : such as
(1) : the material part or nature of a human being when the soul leaves the body
(2) : a dead organism : corpse The body was shipped home for burial.
b : a human being : person What's a body to do?
3a : a mass of matter distinct from other masses a body of water the movements of celestial bodies
b : something that embodies or gives concrete reality to a thing his intuitions of the future may still give body to a better worldNew York Times also : a sensible object in physical space
c : aggregate, quantity a body of evidence
4a clothing : the part of a garment covering the trunk or torso the body of a wet suit
b : the main part of a literary or journalistic work : text sense 2b The body of the article is devoted to an analysis of the problem.
c : the sound box or pipe of a musical instrument
5 : a group of persons or things: such as
a : a fighting unit : force a body of cavalry
b : a group of individuals organized for some purpose a legislative body the university's student body
6a : fullness and richness of flavor (as of wine) a wine with full body
b : viscosity, consistency used especially of oils and grease
c : denseness, fullness, or firmness of texture Her hair lacks body and shine.
d music : fullness or resonance (see resonance sense 2) of a musical tone


bodied; bodying

Definition of body (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give form or shape to : embody
2 : represent, symbolize usually used with forth never been a poet who enjoyed the sensuous world with more gusto … or who more solidly bodied it forth— Edmund Wilson
3 basketball, informal : to use one's body to forcefully block or move (an opposing player) If Jordan spins past him or bodies him away, Russell won't give up on the play.— Ian Thomsen often used with up The most physical player this side of Shaq, Artest not only bodies up forwards but also has the quickness to defend shooting guards.— L. Jon Wertheim

Synonyms & Antonyms for body

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

  • disembody
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Examples of body in a Sentence

Noun a part of the body Her body is very muscular. A bird's body is covered in feathers. This species has a black body and a white head. She held her arms tightly against her body. There was extensive damage to the truck's body. The body of the bus is almost entirely rusted out. Verb abstract sculpture that bodies forth the artist's aesthetic of minimalism See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Next comes a widespread rash on the face and body, including inside the mouth and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 19 May 2022 Each is recognized for having its own mode of relaxing both mind and body, resulting in a naturally soothing impact that can be beneficial for people experiencing anxiety. The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 May 2022 Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes before progressing to a rash on the face and body. Leada Gore |, al, 18 May 2022 Dads have a thing for using one bar of soap for their hair, face, and body. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 18 May 2022 Regularly vacuum the front grilles, body and control panel with a soft dusting brush tool to remove loose dirt. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 18 May 2022 Ideal for health-conscious travelers prioritizing nutritious and sustainable dining, the resort offers an I-TAL farm-to-table dining experience, sure to fuel both the body and soul. Roger Sands, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Swarup has practiced Ayurveda her entire life, and the philosophy that the mind, body, and spirit are all in alignment is the driving force for Prakti. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 17 May 2022 This joint transfers weight and forces between your upper body and legs. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Weight was assessed via body mass index, an estimate of fat based on weight and height, as well as waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and/or body fat percentage. Julie Washington, cleveland, 10 May 2022 But failure to acknowledge your feelings ultimately does your mind and body a disservice, as Sumpter soon learned. L'oreal Thompson Payton, SELF, 6 May 2022 From there, the acupuncturist will develop a treatment plan, mapping out where on the face and body the needles will be inserted and stay in place until removed. Julia Guerra, Allure, 18 Mar. 2022 Thompson picked up his fourth foul in the opening minute of the second half, severely limiting the team’s ability to body up to Embiid. Julia Poe,, 8 Mar. 2022 How should body type be discussed when covering athletes? Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 10 Feb. 2022 The 6-foot-5 Javonte Green is always willing to body up to bigger players, and the 6-10 Tony Bradley has been getting more minutes. Julia Poe,, 9 Feb. 2022 The Official Charts are collated by the Official Charts Company, a joint venture of labels body the BPI and Entertainment Retailers Assn. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 4 Jan. 2022 The loss of Caruso — along with Green, who can body up against leading big men such as Bam Adebayo and Julius Randle — made an evident impact on the team’s ability to defend. Julia Poe,, 10 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'body.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of body


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for body

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English bodig; akin to Old High German boteh corpse

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Time Traveler for body

Time Traveler

The first known use of body was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near body

bod stick


body and soul

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Statistics for body

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Body.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for body


\ ˈbä-dē How to pronounce body (audio) \
plural bodies

Kids Definition of body

1 : the physical whole of a live or dead person or animal the human body
2 : the main part of a person, animal, or plant She held her arms tightly against her body.
3 : a human being The resort offered everything a body could want.
4 : the main or central part the body of a letter
5 : the main part of a motor vehicle
6 : a group of persons or things united for some purpose a body of troops
7 : a mass or portion of something distinct from other masses a body of water

Other Words from body

bodied \ ˈbä-​dēd \ adjective long-bodied animals


\ ˈbäd-ē How to pronounce body (audio) \
plural bodies

Medical Definition of body

1a : the organized physical substance of an animal or plant either living or dead: as
(1) : the material part or nature of a human being
(2) : a dead organism : corpse
b : a human being
2a : the main part of a plant or animal body especially as distinguished from limbs and head : trunk
b : the main part of an organ (as the uterus)
3 : a kind or form of matter : a material substance

More from Merriam-Webster on body

Nglish: Translation of body for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of body for Arabic Speakers


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