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 corporeally (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 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 The real question, Paterson says, is the corporeal composition of another form of life. Eric Spitznagel, Popular Mechanics, "Aliens Smell Like Farts," 25 Nov. 2019 For the average home dweller, taking a bath used to be a private endeavor: fill a giant porcelain bowl with warm water, strip naked, submerge your corporeal form, rinse, repeat. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The Age of Bathfluence," 28 Sep. 2019 Just think about the ghoulish disregard early surgeons had for our corporeal integrity. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Are All Our Organs Vital?," 1 Mar. 2019 But the author of this email also points out there this is not the only fan account dedicated to just one aspect of Timothée's corporeal form. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, Week of June 7," 7 June 2019 And lucky for us, her corporeal form, none other than the Echo speaker, is getting majorly discounted this Prime Day. Anabel Pasarow,, "You Don't Want To Miss These Prime Day Echo Deals," 15 July 2019 The corporeal evidence of grief could melt away, even if its roots still clung tightly. Rachel Vorona Cote, SELF, "Why I Embraced Skin Care After My Mother's Death," 18 Apr. 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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Statistics for corporeal

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Corporeal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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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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