archaic : a human or animal body whether living or dead
: a dead body especially of a human being
: the remains of something discarded or defunct
the corpses of rusting cars

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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 corpse in a Sentence

a battlefield strewn with corpses the startling discovery of a corpse required a call to the police
Recent Examples on the Web Stines has been charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2024 He’s booked in Boone County Jail on preliminary charges of murder and abuse of a corpse. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Apr. 2024 How and why Ötzi, perhaps the world’s most studied corpse, got the body art has long been a source of fascination. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 9 Apr. 2024 The next day, after Picasso saw photos of corpses amid the ruins of Guernica in the French dailies, his mind was made up. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2024 One video said to show two corpses being roasted in Haiti, viewed nearly half a million times on an X account, actually depicts Halloween decorations at a Chinese theme park in 2018, per the fact-checking website Snopes. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2024 The suspect, Sheldon Johnson, was arrested Thursday and charged with murder, manslaughter, weapon possession, concealment of a human corpse, and criminal contempt, online records show. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 8 Mar. 2024 Latasha Mott, 29, was charged with first degree manslaughter and concealment of a corpse in Syracuse City Court on Monday, the Associated Press, Post-Standard of Syracuse and ABC affiliate WSYR-TV reported. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 26 Mar. 2024 Inga Bearden, 53, was charged with concealment of a corpse, a felony, police said, according to the New York Daily News. Landon Mion, Fox News, 23 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


Middle English cors, corps, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin corpus "body" — more at midriff

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of corpse was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near corpse

Cite this Entry

“Corpse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a dead body

Middle English corps "human body," from early French corps (same meaning), from Latin corpus "body"

Medical Definition


: a dead body especially of a human being

More from Merriam-Webster on corpse

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