\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

James dearly missed Irving’s shot-making and firepower in the 2018 Finals, as Cleveland’s point guard corps was an utter mess. Ben Golliver,, "Paul George’s Quick Decision Begs Question: Are LeBron’s Best Recruiting Days Behind Him?," 1 July 2018 The linebacking corps will be all new faces, including promising converted tight end Willie Hibbler. Edgar Thompson,, "Ole Miss rebuilding after NCAA sanctions, Rebels are No. 57 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 1 July 2018 The corps is now continuously releasing water to lower the lake level, causing a rise in water levels and swift currents in the river downstream. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "The rain may be over, but Lake Lanier remains unsafe for swimmers," 5 June 2018 The linebacker corps is the biggest question mark for a defense that appears stout along the front and talented and deep in the secondary. Gary Klein,, "Cory Littleton is in the middle of Rams' rebuilt defense at linebacker," 4 June 2018 All of that aside, the Saints linebacker corps is easily the most stable it's been since the days of Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita and Scott Shanle. Larry Holder,, "Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?," 15 May 2018 The relief corps has been outstanding of late, even including Sunday when the bullpen was charged with two earned runs. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Despite failure to sweep, plenty positive coming out of Canada beyond donuts | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 29 Apr. 2018 The numbers are better in Philadelphia, where about 5 percent of teachers are black males and the school system has made a push to diversify its teacher corps., "A former drug dealer made good and became a Philly teacher. So why is he thinking of leaving the profession?," 11 July 2018 Those were a bit puzzling to me, for a team that returns its starting QB, its top two running backs, four starting offensive linemen, a deep receiver corps and one of the best defensive fronts in college football. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "Adam Jude’s AP Top 25 preseason ballot," 16 Aug. 2017

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

15 Nov 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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Comments on corps

What made you want to look up corps? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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