\ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sarah Adkins-Jablonsky’s body of work is based in scientific exploration. al, 7 Jan. 2022 The ancient embellishment of body chains has reappeared throughout fashion history, including more recently in the ’70s and ’00s — and now. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Jan. 2022 Hernandez is heard yelling expletives before running to Jackson's body in the street. NBC News, 7 Jan. 2022 Mayes’ body was scheduled to be taken to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy. Rich Barak, ajc, 7 Jan. 2022 The family includes 5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the environment and human body over time. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Jan. 2022 The mother of a 2-year-old girl whose body was found in a Houston bayou in 2020 has pleaded guilty for her role in the child's death, according to court records. Chron, 7 Jan. 2022 The woman's body was found on Sunday along Arroyo Vista Drive in Bullhead City, located along the Colorado River about 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 7 Jan. 2022 There is a flash of light and Jones' upper body becomes engulfed in flames for just over 20 seconds. Sophie Reardon, CBS News, 7 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 That’s been welcomed by all sides of the debate, even labels body the BPI. Mark Sutherland, Variety, 28 Oct. 2021 The exploration started with athlete feedback and then went inside Lululemon labs to body scan athletes and test out materials and products within a simulated Beijing environment. Tim Newcomb, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 Her ultimate goal is to foster a world where bodies of all shapes and sizes are accepted and body positive statements don't need to be big moments anymore. Kaitlyn Frey,, 15 Oct. 2021 Purple is one of these innovators, inventing a hyper-elastic polymer grid that stretches to support areas of pressure while cradling sleepers in the mattress material, providing overall support which also conforms to body shape. Stephen Wunker, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Kourosh and colleagues surveyed doctors and surgeons, examining the question of whether videoconferencing during the pandemic was a potential contributor to body dysmorphic disorder. Amit Katwala, Wired, 30 Aug. 2021 There was also no DNA/diet interaction for waist circumference, body mass index, or body fat percentage. Sharon Begley, Scientific American, 21 Feb. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries Near body

bod stick


body and soul

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Statistics for body

Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Body.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for body



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 \ 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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