cor·​po·​re·​al | \ kȯr-ˈpȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce corporeal (audio) \

Definition of corporeal

1 : having, consisting of, or relating to a physical material body: such as
a : not spiritual … some few traces of a diviner nature which look out through his corporeal baseness …— Robert Browning
b : not immaterial or intangible : substantial corporeal property
2 archaic : corporal

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Other Words from corporeal

corporeally \ kȯr-​ˈpȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce corporeal (audio) \ adverb
corporealness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for corporeal

material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality. material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping. material values physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary. the physical benefits of exercise corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force. artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction. scientists concerned with the phenomenal world sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses. the earth's rotation is not sensible to us objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it. no objective evidence of damage

Did You Know?

In various religions, including Christianity, corporeal existence is often called the opposite of spiritual existence, and corporeal existence, unlike spiritual existence, is often said to be contaminated with evil. The word is also often used by philosophers, especially when considering the nature of reality. For lawyers, corporeal describes physical property such as houses or cars, as opposed to something valuable but nonphysical like a good reputation.

Examples of corporeal in a Sentence

the corporeal nature of matter corporeal cravings such as hunger and thirst
Recent Examples on the Web The most enduring symptom is a corporeal heat wave that shows no more sign of fully lifting than the warmth in northern Eurasia. Bathsheba Demuth, The Atlantic, "Siberia’s Malady Is the Same as Mine," 28 Aug. 2020 But just as the brain is more than a corporeal lump of flesh, so the art of neurology is more than a static image. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, "New Views of our Mesmerizing, Maddening Minds," 18 Aug. 2020 Punishment was a $2.50 fine, four days of work on the public road or corporeal punishment. Ashley Mott, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Southern states used convict leasing to force Black people into unpaid labor," 8 July 2020 Zooming into a wedding needs to be considered as real as being there in corporeal form. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: I’m Afraid to Go to My Brother’s Wedding," 17 June 2020 Consider the corporeal calm and control former president Barack Obama exhibits, the polar opposite of Sanders. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "The definitive guide to Bernie Sanders’s hand gestures," 15 Mar. 2020 As climate change edges into easily observable reality, one of its corporeal forms has been supercharged versions of the natural disasters humans have always known and feared. Charles Homans, New York Times, "A Disaster Video That Finally Tells the Truth About Climate Change," 20 Feb. 2020 The various returns to (or re-volcanic-eruptions of) figurative image-making in current art make Saul’s multifarious tropes a handy visual thesaurus for engaging the mind through corporeal mimesis. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The In-Your-Face Paintings of Peter Saul," 10 Feb. 2020 Along the way, physical artifacts like letters, pictures or home videos prompt us to remember those who’ve left the corporeal world, sharpening the lines of those now-fuzzy memories. Lauren Warnecke,, "Review: ‘Echo Mine’ at Harris Theater is a cathartic, sometimes hypnotic tribute to Hubbard Street dance icon Claire Bataille," 8 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corporeal.' 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 corporeal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corporeal

Middle English corporealle, from Latin corporeus "having a body, physical" (from corpor-, corpus "body" + -eus -eous) + -alle -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for corporeal

Time Traveler

The first known use of corporeal was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Corporeal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for corporeal


How to pronounce corporeal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of corporeal

formal : having or consisting of a physical body or form


cor·​po·​re·​al | \ kȯr-ˈpȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce corporeal (audio) \

Kids Definition of corporeal

: having, consisting of, or relating to a physical body Where was her body? … The corporeal Meg simply was not.— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time


cor·​po·​re·​al | \ kȯr-ˈpōr-ē-əl, -ˈpȯr- How to pronounce corporeal (audio) \

Medical Definition of corporeal

: having, consisting of, or relating to a physical material body

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cor·​po·​re·​al | \ kȯr-ˈpōr-ē-əl How to pronounce corporeal (audio) \

Legal Definition of corporeal

: having, consisting of, or relating to a physical material body — compare incorporeal

Other Words from corporeal

corporeally adverb

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Comments on corporeal

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