\ 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 forthnever 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 upThe 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun China has awoken to the world body’s potential as a vehicle for its ambitions, leveraging America’s retreat to widen its role and reach, working assiduously to weaken the U.N. John Mcwhorter, Washington Post, "Biden Should ...," 15 Jan. 2021 The man was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the upper body. Taylor Pettaway,, "Man caught in the middle of a road rage incident on Loop 410 suffers gunshot wound," 14 Jan. 2021 Police said officers arrived at an apartment complex parking lot and found Martin unresponsive and with gunshot wounds to his upper body. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Authorities ID man shot to death in Richfield," 11 Jan. 2021 While my pajamas are practically glued to my body at this point, Jennifer Lopez is continually upping her style game, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lopez Proves That Less Is More in a White Skintight Cut-Out Gown," 10 Jan. 2021 The 14-inch display is coated with Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, with side bezels that measure a slender 6.1mm for a 78-percent screen-to-body ratio. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Acer debuts its first Ryzen-powered Chromebook, the Spin 514," 7 Jan. 2021 However, leashes greater than 3 feet in length will give you the option of tying, looping, or clipping the pouch to your body, your gear, or your boat. Field & Stream, "Best Waterproof Phone Pouch: Smart Ways to Protect A Smartphone," 5 Jan. 2021 An important caveat: Outer layers should be sized bigger than the layers closer to your body. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Winter Is Good," 4 Jan. 2021 Changes to the truck, from chassis to body to engine to interior, reflect consumer needs, requests and complaints. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Ford’s new F-150: America’s favorite pickup goes hybrid (in more ways than one)," 2 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As a center, Lieb has to body up against the stalwart Jamaican in practice. Sam Brief,, "Deerfield’s Brandon Lieb making the most of playing for Illinois during COVID-19 pandemic; ‘It’s where I wanted to be’," 27 Dec. 2020 Microlinks are very versatile lightweight little to no tension at all but still give you that fullness & body your looking for. Chelsea Hall, Marie Claire, "Your Guide to Hair Extensions," 27 Oct. 2020 Bam Adebayo simply is too valuable against Gianni Antetokounmpo to be limited to defending Brook Lopez 3-pointers or to body Lopez off the boards. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Matchups vs. Bucks present Heat with ultimate singular challenge | Commentary," 30 Aug. 2020 In addition to the differentiating Tone feature, the band and service track many of the usual suspects for fitness wearables: sleep, activity, and body fat percentage. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Amazon Halo will charge a subscription fee to monitor the tone of your voice," 27 Aug. 2020 That deprives even the able-bodied of daily walks to their local shops. Mark Landler, New York Times, "To Fight Coronavirus, U.K. Asked for Some Volunteers. It Got an Army.," 7 Apr. 2020 Brunk did not get much help in Columbus — Wesson bodied Jackson-Davis, Smith and De’Ron Davis with just as much ease — but those are the moments where Miller needs him to step up. Stefan Krajisnik, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball: Brunk, Hoosiers getting pushed around lately," 2 Feb. 2020 Instability here ultimately compromises the efforts to save ex-Giant Ereck Flowers, who, though unusually long-bodied for the position, had shown hopeful signs at his new guard spot under O-line professor Bill Callahan. Andy Benoit,, "The Redskins Will Struggle With Whoever Is at QB," 16 Aug. 2019 Wherever Winston went, Hunter bodied him up defensively and had plenty of help defending MSU’s pick-and-roll game in the half-court game. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Tom Izzo on blueprint to beat Michigan State basketball: 'We'll be ready for it'," 12 Jan. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for body

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Body.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for body


How to pronounce body (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of body

: a person's or animal's whole physical self
: a dead person or animal
: the main physical part of a person or animal


\ 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 \ ˈbäd-​ēd \ 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

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