plural corps ˈkȯrz How to pronounce corps (audio)
: an organized subdivision of the military establishment
Marine Corps
Signal Corps
: a tactical unit usually consisting of two or more divisions and auxiliary arms and services
: 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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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 corps in a Sentence

members of the press corps a reporter who is widely respected throughout the press corps
Recent Examples on the Web Marching bands, drum corps and other musical performances scored the show, which lasted for nearly three hours on an unseasonably warm day. Jessica Roy Kevin Faingnaert, New York Times, 18 May 2024 There are just as many questions about the receiving corps. Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun, 14 May 2024 Questions about college access, equity Cleo Krejci covers higher education, vocational training and retraining as a Report For America corps member based at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Cleo Krejci, Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2024 Connor Giffin is an environmental reporter for The Courier Journal and a corps member with Report for America. Connor Giffin, The Courier-Journal, 18 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for corps 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of corps was in 1707

Dictionary Entries Near corps

Cite this Entry

“Corps.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ˈkō(ə)r How to pronounce corps (audio)
plural corps ˈkō(ə)rz How to pronounce corps (audio)
: an organized branch of the military establishment
Marine Corps
Corps of Engineers
: a military unit consisting of two or more divisions
: a group of persons acting under one authority
diplomatic corps

from French corps "part of a military organization," derived from Latin corpus "body" — related to corpse

More from Merriam-Webster on corps

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