\ ˈkȯrps \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for corpse


bones, cadaver, carcass, corpus, corse [archaic], relics, remains, stiff

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Poor Principal Featherhead is never seen alive again, and days later his blue-lipped corpse is found stuffed into a cupboard in the hallway. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Let's Talk About Tonight's Very Special Flashback Episode of Riverdale," 8 Nov. 2018 After touching the corpse, one of the youths became infected and died. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "Health workers in Congo’s Ebola outbreak attacked weekly," 22 Oct. 2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is confirming that Johnson’s family has asked for and received permission to dig up his corpse on Friday to perform another autopsy. Paula Rogo,, "Family Of Kendrick Johnson, Teen Who Was Found Dead In Gym Mat, Plan To Exhume His Body A Second Time," 22 June 2018 Wanting to kick your dead rapist’s corpse makes sense. Rena Gross, Billboard, "14 Significant Moments From 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 10 'The Last Ceremony'," 20 June 2018 He was also charged with abusing a corpse, jail records show. David J. Neal And Carli Teproff, miamiherald, "He's charged with murdering his pregnant wife and suspected of killing her father," 12 June 2018 Season 6, like its predecessors, begins with the discovery of a corpse, this time missing head, hands and feet. Mike Hale, New York Times, "The TV Binges of Summer, From Jack Ryan to ‘Better Call Saul’," 1 June 2018 Grate had faced 23 charges in the case but last week pleaded guilty to 15 of the lesser counts, including robbery, rape and abuse of a corpse, PEOPLE confirms. Chris Harris,, "Ex of Suspected Serial Killer Shawn Grate Recounts Harrowing Moment: I'd 'Never Felt Fear Like That Before'," 24 May 2018 The 16-year-old, Brett Boettler, is charged as an adult with one count each of first-degree murder and second-degree murder, desecration of a corpse, unlawful removal of a body and for having a gun after he had been convicted as a juvenile. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Remains of 2 men found dismembered, chained to cinder blocks in pond," 7 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about corpse

Statistics for corpse

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for corpse

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for corpse



English Language Learners Definition of corpse

: a dead body


\ ˈkȯrps \

Kids Definition of corpse

: a dead body


\ ˈkȯ(ə)rps \

Medical Definition of corpse 

: a dead body especially of a human being

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on corpse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for corpse

Spanish Central: Translation of corpse

Nglish: Translation of corpse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corpse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on corpse

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


marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!