\ ˈkȯr \
plural corps\ˈkȯrz \

Definition of corps 

1a : an organized subdivision of the military establishment Marine Corps Signal Corps

b : a tactical unit usually consisting of two or more divisions and auxiliary arms and services

2 : a group of persons associated together or acting under common direction especially : a body of persons having a common activity or occupation the press corps

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corps or core (or corp or corpse)?

Corps and core are homophones with completely distinct meanings. Whereas corps usually refers to a group of people, core, a word of uncertain origin, carries the senses “the central or most important part of something” or “the usually inedible central part of some fruits.” Corp and corpse share an etymology with corps; all three words come from the Latin corpus, meaning “body.” However, corp is an abbreviation for “corporation” and corpse is most often used to mean “a dead body, especially of a human being.” (Before the eighteenth century, corpse could and often did also refer to a living body.)

Examples of corps in a Sentence

members of the press corps a reporter who is widely respected throughout the press corps

Recent Examples on the Web

The running back corps features Darius Anderson, who rushed for 768 yards and eight rushing TDs last season, as well as Sewo Olonilua and freshman Fabian Franklin. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Here’s where the media picked TCU in preseason football poll," 12 July 2018 In January 2017, Vladimir Putin chose to publicly partake in a cold-water plunge instead of watching Donald Trump’s inauguration—a ritual that the Kremlin’s press corps has documented and disseminated via the internet. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Artist Taryn Simon Invites You to Take a Cold Water Plunge Inside a Museum," 11 July 2018 The Royals' relief corps was beat up so badly by the ninth inning of Saturday night’s 15-4 loss to the Red Sox, the gates to the home bullpen at Kauffman Stadium swung open to let out backup catcher Drew Butera. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals bullpen clobbered so thoroughly by Red Sox, Drew Butera pitches in loss," 7 July 2018 If Taggart manages to reset this athletic corps and rebuild, look out. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Florida State," 6 July 2018 All over the Baltimore metropolitan area — from Annapolis to Arbutus, from Catonsville to Bel Air — tens of thousands of Maryland residents celebrated Independence Day by clapping along to the music of bagpipe bands and drum-and-bugle corps. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Savoring the sweet taste of patriotism at Fourth of July parades around Baltimore," 4 July 2018 To meet that processing deadline, the Clinton administration secured funding to double the number of immigration judges, from roughly 100 to 200, and also built up the asylum officer corps. David A. Martin, Vox, "How to fix the crisis caused by Central American asylum seekers — humanely," 2 July 2018 Thompson will help a Thunderbirds forward corps that lost Curtis Valk (KHL’s Barys) and Alexandre Grenier (AHL’s Laval) while Chase Balisy is an unrestricted free agent. Matthew Defranks,, "Panthers add to AHL depth by signing Paul Thompson, Jacob MacDonald," 2 July 2018 But if Thornburg can’t get right, the Red Sox will likely have to consider bolstering that relief corps. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Solving the Yankees' Sonny Gray Problem, AL East Deciding Factors and Our Favorite Statcast Quirks," 2 July 2018

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

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for corps

borrowed from French, "body, tactical military unit, group of persons or things," going back to Old French cors "body, group of persons or things," going back to Latin corpus — more at midriff

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Statistics for corps

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for corps

The first known use of corps was in 1707

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More Definitions for corps



English Language Learners Definition of corps

: an organized part of the military

: a large military group consisting of two or more divisions

: a group of people who are involved in some activity


\ ˈkȯr \
plural corps\ˈkȯrz \

Kids Definition of corps

1 : an organized branch of a country's military forces Marine Corps

2 : a group of persons acting under one authority diplomatic corps

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characteristic trappings or dress

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