\ ˈkȯrps How to pronounce corpse (audio) \

Definition of corpse

1 archaic : a human or animal body whether living or dead
2a : a dead body especially of a human being
b : the remains of something discarded or defunct the corpses of rusting cars

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Synonyms for corpse


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Distinguishing Between Core and Corps and Corpse and Corp

Core and corps sound identical but are distinct words with distinct meanings. Core is most familiar used as a noun referring 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.” 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 Christopher Royer and Sarah Rudolph, both 35, face charges of abuse of a corpse and child abuse. Washington Post, "‘She didn’t deserve to die the way she did,’ says family of cult leader found dead and mummified," 5 May 2021 The seven individuals arrested were charged with abuse of a corpse as well as two counts of child abuse after two minors were found in the home, according to the arrest affidavits. Keith Allen, CNN, "7 people arrested after the mummified remains of a religious group leader were found in Colorado home," 5 May 2021 The child may have been prepared and tightly wrapped with a shroud of large leaves or animal skins—an act that would make little sense for a body regarded as simply a lifeless corpse. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Discover Oldest Known Human Grave in Africa," 5 May 2021 Jason Castillo, 45; John Robertson, 32; Obdulia Franco, 52; Ryan Kramer, 30; Christopher Royer, 34; Sarah Rudolph, 35; and Karin Raymond, 47, were all charged with abuse of a corpse and child abuse, according to court records. NBC News, "Mummified remains of spiritual leader found decorated with Christmas lights," 5 May 2021 As for the corpse-painted, suit-and-tie–wearing dude rocking out on guitar in his Brooklyn shoebox of an apartment in one corner of most of the clips? Richard Bienstock, Rolling Stone, "How ‘Two Minutes to Late Night’ Created the Web’s Wildest Quarantine Covers Series," 4 May 2021 At the same time, the discovery of a corpse on his property becomes a ticking time bomb that can send him back to prison. Dana Feldman, Forbes, "5 Series Coming And Returning To Netflix In May That Are Worth The Binge," 27 Apr. 2021 Dakota runs in and sees her mother’s corpse, the brains and bone and gore on the floor beneath the bed. Erik Kain, Forbes, "‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 9 Review: Another One Bites The Dust," 19 Apr. 2021 And, of course, the amount of alcohol in Frank’s corpse later causes a small explosion in the crematorium. Jennifer Zhan, Vulture, "Frank Gallagher Met the Most Shameless Fate Possible," 12 Apr. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corpse

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

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Time Traveler for corpse

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for corpse

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corpse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for corpse



English Language Learners Definition of corpse

: a dead body


\ ˈkȯrps How to pronounce corpse (audio) \

Kids Definition of corpse

: a dead body


\ ˈkȯ(ə)rps How to pronounce corpse (audio) \

Medical Definition of corpse

: a dead body especially of a human being

Comments on corpse

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