corpus delicti

noun (1)
cor·​pus de·​lic·​ti | \ ˈkȯr-pəs-di-ˈlik-ˌtī How to pronounce corpus delicti (audio) , -(ˌ)tē\
plural corpora delicti

Definition of corpus delicti

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the substantial and fundamental fact necessary to prove the commission of a crime
2 : the material substance (such as the body of the victim of a murder) upon which a crime has been committed

lex loci delicti

noun (2)
lex loci de·​lic·​ti | \ -dəˈliktē\

Definition of lex loci delicti (Entry 2 of 2)

: the law of the place of the wrong or tort

Did You Know?

Corpus delicti literally means "body of the crime" in Latin. In its original sense, the body in question refers not to a corpse but to the body of essential facts that, taken together, prove that a crime has been committed. In popular usage, corpus delicti also refers to the actual physical object upon which a crime has been committed. In a case of arson, it would be a ruined building; in a murder case, the victim's corpse.

First Known Use of corpus delicti

Noun (1)

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corpus delicti

Noun (1)

borrowed from New Latin corpus dēlictī "body of the misdeed"

Noun (2)

New Latin

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The first known use of corpus delicti was in 1818

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More Definitions for corpus delicti

corpus delicti

noun
corpus de·​lic·​ti | \ -di-ˈlik-ˌtī, -(ˌ)tē How to pronounce corpus delicti (audio) \
plural corpora delicti

Medical Definition of corpus delicti

1 : the substantial and fundamental fact (as, in murder, actual death and its occurrence as a result of criminal agency) necessary to prove the commission of a crime
2 : the material substance (as the body of the victim of a murder) upon which a crime has been committed

corpus delicti

noun
corpus de·​lic·​ti | \ -di-ˈlik-ˌtī, -dā-, -tē How to pronounce corpus delicti (audio) \

Legal Definition of corpus delicti

: the substance of a crime that the prosecutor must prove and that consists of an injury or loss (as death of a victim or disappearance of property) and the criminal act that resulted in it

History and Etymology for corpus delicti

New Latin, literally, the body of the offense

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