\ 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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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 Chief deputy coroner Milton Harbison said her body has been sent to the state Crime Lab for analysis. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Man arrested in Arkansas homicide after flying to Florida, police say," 9 Dec. 2019 Her body was recovered 10 days later in a Santek dumpster that had been transported to a landfill near Warrior. Carol Robinson |, al, "Birmingham’s littlest angels: Parents of slain children mourn 5-year-old’s slaying," 9 Dec. 2019 Folk said there were no limitations on his body or availability., "FOXBOROUGH — Usually individuals who undergo a laparoscopic appendectomy are expected to resume normal activities 2-3 days after the procedure.," 9 Dec. 2019 Burak accelerated after hitting the women and drove away, Murphy said, leaving their two bodies on the ground in the street. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Daywatch: The death of Juice Wrld, our review of Chicago’s new NEMA skyscraper and why police are reexamining a questionable crash," 9 Dec. 2019 Officers found an 18-year old man with at least one gunshot wound to his body. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Baltimore Police: One dead, one injured in separate shooting incidents Sunday night," 9 Dec. 2019 With DeRozan flat on his back after the play, Mills and center Jakob Poeltl rushed over to express their appreciation by playfully punching and slapping at his body. Tom Orsborn,, "DeMar DeRozan viewed as Spurs’ ‘ultimate professional’," 8 Dec. 2019 The office told CBS News that Higgins was pronounced dead at 3:14 a.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and his body was brought to the medical examiner's office about six hours later. CBS News, "Juice WRLD, popular Chicago rapper, has died at age 21 after "medical emergency" at airport," 8 Dec. 2019 Six-year-old Adrian Salazar was lying on the floor of his grandma’s house playing with his Spiderman toys when a bullet ripped through his body. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "“It sounded like a war”: 6-year-old shot in Denver home released from hospital, family still lives in fear," 6 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The turquoise-bodied left-handed guitar was on display for several years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ sweater, guitar, head to auction," 9 Oct. 2019 It’s Holiday who guides them there, bodying them without really bumping them. Rob Mahoney,, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Instead - indicative of a player bereft of ideas and confidence - the 23-year-old could only limply tap the ball into Maguire's path, before allowing himself to be bodied away in the ultimate display of physical inferiority., "Demarai Gray: The Leicester City Nowhere Man Whose Time Is Running Out to Impress," 18 Sep. 2019 Vienna Lager resembles Oktoberfest beers, or Märzens, in flavor, but the lager is lighter bodied, with slightly less malt character and more bitterness — and more drinkability. Jay R. Brooks, The Mercury News, "Beer trend alert: The resurgence of Mexican lager," 6 Sep. 2019 Not only does Oregon State need a big-bodied back in the class of 2020, but Newell is also one of the West Coast’s most productive playmakers., "Isaiah Newell, key Oregon State Beavers RB target, ready to announce commitment Thursday morning," 14 Aug. 2019 The William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016, which is dry, buttery, medium-bodied, and full of orchard fruit like apples and pears, allows food to shine while mellowing and balancing seasoning and spice. Sara Mae Albert, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Plan a Casual Chic Dinner Party," 2 Aug. 2019 And Otazu does it well, medium-bodied with flavors of ripe peaches and apricots and a slight note of bitterness at the end. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "This $13 Spanish red will provide a delightful match for all your grilled food," 5 July 2019 And this is far from the first time Kellerman bodied Hollins like that. Khadrice Rollins,, "Max Kellerman Absolutely Roasted Ryan Hollins in the Smoothest Way Possible," 25 June 2019

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

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Body.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on body

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for body

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with body

Spanish Central: Translation of body

Nglish: Translation of body for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of body for Arabic Speakers

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delight or enjoyment

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