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noun (1)

plural cores
often attributive
: a central and often foundational part usually distinct from the enveloping part by a difference in nature
the core of the city
: such as
: the usually inedible central part of some fruits (such as a pineapple)
especially : the papery or leathery carpels composing the ripened ovary in a pome fruit (such as an apple)
: the muscles of the mid-region of the torso
Your core is composed of the muscles that stabilize and move your pelvis, lower back, hips, and trunk.Adele Jackson-Gibson
core muscles/strength
core exercises
: the place in a nuclear reactor where fission (see fission entry 1 sense 3) occurs
: an arrangement of a course of studies that combines under basic topics material from subjects conventionally separated and aims to provide a common background for all students
core curriculum
: the portion of a foundry mold that shapes the interior of a hollow casting
: a vertical space (as for elevator shafts, stairways, or plumbing apparatus) in a multistory building
: a computer memory consisting of an array of cores strung on fine wires
broadly : the internal memory of a computer
: a tiny doughnut-shaped piece of magnetic material (such as ferrite) used in computer memories
: a mass of iron serving to concentrate and intensify the magnetic field resulting from a current in a surrounding coil
: the central part of a celestial body (such as the earth or sun) usually having different physical properties from the surrounding parts
: a nodule of stone (such as flint or obsidian) from which flakes have been struck for making implements
: the conducting wire with its insulation in an electric cable
: a basic, essential, or enduring part (as of an individual, a class, or an entity)
the staff had a core of experts
the core of her beliefs
: the essential meaning : gist
the core of the argument
: the inmost or most intimate part
honest to the core
: a part (such as a thin cylinder of material) removed from the interior of a mass especially to determine composition


2 of 4


cored; coring

transitive verb

: to remove a core (see core entry 1 sense 1a) from
core an apple
corer noun


3 of 4

noun (2)

chiefly Scotland
: a group of people


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Congress of Racial Equality

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Distinguishing Between Core and Corps and Corpse and Corp

These words are frequently confused despite their very different applications. Core and corps both rhyme with more. Core can be a noun, verb, or adjective, but is most often used as a noun to refer to the central or most important part of something (“the core of the issue,” “the Earth’s core”) or to the usually inedible central part of a fruit (“an apple core”). Corps has several meanings, all of which refer to some kind of group: “the Marine Corps,” “the press corps.” Its plural form is also spelled corps (“two corps of reporters”) but is pronounced just as cores is. Unlike in corps, The “p” in corpse and corp is pronounced. Corpse refers to a dead body, and especially to the dead body of a human. Corp is an abbreviation for “corporation” and “corporal.” Corp, corps, and corpse all trace back to the Latin word corpus, meaning “body.” The origin of core is obscure.

Examples of core in a Sentence

Noun (1) in my very core I knew that an injustice was being committed the capitol building is the core of the political life of the state at last, we come to the core of the issue that has been dividing us a starfish can even survive the division of its core into two parts; both halves then regenerate the mountain rises from ground that is almost precisely at the island's core
Recent Examples on the Web
Like Tierney, Krylov said USC leadership needed to focus more on its core mission of education and research. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2024 The couple, who met in 2012 while teaching architecture at the University of Toronto, have always placed research at the core of their practice—whether in their recent exhibition design for Rice University’s Moody Center for the Arts or their reflective pavilion at the Centre Pompidou-Metz. Sam Cochran, Architectural Digest, 9 July 2024
But cores from the stormy coast are more like archives of local weather. Bychristian Elliott,, 18 Apr. 2024 Instead, stand the pineapple up so the stem end is sitting on your cutting board. Center a pineapple coring tool over the pineapple and press it into the fruit. Sheena Chihak, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for core 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'core.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, of obscure origin


Middle English coren, derivative of core core entry 1

Noun (2)

perhaps by respelling of Middle English chore "chorus, company," borrowed from Latin chorus — more at chorus entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1622, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of core was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near core

Cite this Entry

“Core.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ˈkō(ə)r How to pronounce core (audio)
: a central or most important part
: the usually inedible central part of some fruits (as a pineapple or apple)
: a part removed from the interior of a mass especially to find out the interior composition or a hidden condition
took a core of rock
: a mass of iron used to concentrate and strengthen the magnetic field resulting from a current in a surrounding coil
: the memory of a computer
: the central part of the earth having different properties from those of the surrounding parts
also : the central part of a heavenly body
: an arrangement of studies that brings together material from subjects that are usually taught separately
: the place in a nuclear reactor where fission takes place


2 of 2 verb
cored; coring
: to remove a core from
core an apple
corer noun

Medical Definition

: the central part of a body, mass, or part

More from Merriam-Webster on core

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