corps

noun

plural corps ˈkȯrz How to pronounce corps (audio)
1
a
: 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
3

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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.

Example Sentences

members of the press corps a reporter who is widely respected throughout the press corps
Recent Examples on the Web Bedayn is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. CBS News, 23 Nov. 2022 Jesse Bedayn is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Thomas Peipert And Jesse Bedayn, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Nov. 2022 Bedayn is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Jesse Bedayn, ajc, 21 Nov. 2022 James Pollard is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. James Pollard, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Nov. 2022 Brooke Schultz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Brooke Schultz, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Nov. 2022 Trisha Ahmed is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Time, 22 Oct. 2022 Landegger’s experience in musical theater strengthens his bond with Andrei Chagas, a fellow corps member and live-wire friend Mercutio to his Romeo. Guillermo Perez, Sun Sentinel, 20 Oct. 2022 Kyra Miles is a Report for America corps member covering education or WBHM. Kyra Miles, al, 19 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corps. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

corps

noun

ˈkō(ə)r How to pronounce corps (audio)
ˈkȯ(ə)r
plural corps ˈkō(ə)rz How to pronounce corps (audio)
ˈkȯ(ə)rz
1
a
: an organized branch of the military establishment
Marine Corps
Corps of Engineers
b
: a military unit consisting of two or more divisions
2
: a group of persons acting under one authority
diplomatic corps

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