Webster 1913 Edition



A body, living or dead; the corporeal substance of a thing.
Corpus callosum
Corpora callosa
[NL., callous body]
the great band of commissural fibers uniting the cerebral hemispheres. See
Corpus Christi
[L., body of Christ]
(R. C. Ch.)
a festival in honor of the eucharist, observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
Corpus Christi cloth
Same as
Pyx cloth
, under
Corpus delicti
[L., the body of the crime]
the substantial and fundamental fact of the comission of a crime; the proofs essential to establish a crime.
Corpus luteum
Corpora lutea
[NL., luteous body]
the reddish yellow mass which fills a ruptured Graafian follicle in the mammalian ovary.
Corpus striatum
Corpora striata
[NL., striate body]
a ridge in the wall of each lateral ventricle of the brain.

Definition 2024





corpus (plural corpora or corpuses)

  1. (linguistics) A collection of writings, often on a specific topic, of a specific genre, from a specific demographic or a particular author, etc.
    • 2007, Mihail Mihailov; Hannu Tommola, “Compiling Parallel Text Corpora: Towards Automation of Routine Procedures”, in Wolfgang Teubert, editor, Text Corpora and Multilingual Lexicography (Benjamins Current Topics; 8), Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 978-90-272-2238-1, page 60:
      Text corpora are being used in most current lexicographic projects. Applied linguistic research is another field where text corpora are welcome as an inexhaustible source of empirical information, a polygon for testing various linguistic tools – spell-checkers, OCRs, machine translation systems, NLP systems, etc.
    • 2008, Anabel Borja, “Corpora for Translators in Spain. The CDJ-GITRAD Corpus and the GENITT Project.”, in Gunilla [M.] Anderman and Margaret Rogers, editors, Incorporating Corpora: The Linguist and the Translator, Clevedon, North Somerset: Multilingual Matters, ISBN 978-1-85359-986-6, page 248:
      Comparable corpora are made up of texts in different languages that may be related in various ways, but are not translations of each other. They may have nothing in common at all, or be on the same subject, of the same genre, or from the same chronological period, etc.
    • 2013, “Introduction”, in Gerry Knowles, Briony Williams, and L[ita] Taylor, editors, A Corpus of Formal British English Speech: The Lancaster/IBM Spoken English Corpus, Abingdon, Oxon.; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-582-05639-8, page 1:
      The Lancaster/IBM Spoken English Corpus began in September 1984 as part of a research project into the automatic assignment of intonation [] The original design of the corpus was determined by the need to provide data for research into speech synthesis. As a result, unlike most other corpora currently being used in the computational linguistics field, the SEC exists in several forms. [] However, whatever the original motivation for compiling a corpus, it quickly becomes an object of interest in its own right. New users find it valuable for applications for which it was not designed.
    • 2014, Giuseppina Balossi, “Corpus Approaches to the Study of Language and Literature”, in A Corpus Linguistic Approach to Literary Language and Characterization: Virginia Woolf's The Waves (Linguistic Approaches to Literature; 18), Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 978-90-272-3407-0, page 41:
      A corpus approach is a useful methodology for observing, describing and interpreting the stylistic features of language in literary and non-literary texts.
  2. (uncommon) A body, a collection.
    • 1998, Dimitǎr Draganov, “New Coin Types of Hadrianopolis”, in Ulrike Peter, editor, Stephanos Nomismatikos: Edith Schönert-Geiss zum 65. Geburtstag (Griechisches Münzwerk), Berlin: Akademie Verlag, ISBN 978-3-05-003294-4, page 221:
      About a hundred years ago in Germany, the publishing of corpuses of the ancient Greek coinages was started. [] The significance of those, and some other corpuses is exclusive, because they allowed an enormous amount of numismatic material kept in museum and private collections all over the world, to be studied and systematized.
    • 2014, Margaret Darling; Barbara Precious, “Introduction”, in A Corpus of Roman Pottery from Lincoln (Lincoln Archaeological Studies; 6), Oxford: Oxbow Books, ISBN 978-1-84217-487-6, page 1:
      An assessment in 1991 proposed publication of the results of this work in three stages: [] secondly, a corpus of the Roman pottery to present the type series and to discuss the fabrics and forms recovered, []
  • See Wikisaurus:body
Derived terms
Related terms

Etymology 2

From German Corpus (10-point type), from its use in editions of the Corpus Juris.


corpus (uncountable)

  1. (printing, dated) Synonym of long primer
    • [1833, George Crabb, “Printing”, in Universal Technological Dictionary, or Familiar Explanation of the Terms Used in All Arts and Sciences, Containing Definitions Drawn from the Original Writers, and Illustrated by Plates, Epigrams, Cuts, &c., volume II, enlarged edition, London: Printed for Baldwin and Cradock, Paternoster-Row, and for the new proprietor, J. Dowding, 82, Newgate-Street, OCLC 65260870:
      Brevier had its name from being first used in the printing of the breviary; and the German Corpus, in English Long Primer, probably from its use in printing their Corpus Juris.]
    • [1843, “Type-founding”, in The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, volume XXV (Titles of Honour – Ungula), London: Charles Knight and Co., 22, Ludgate Street, OCLC 2041456, page 455:
      Long Primer. This neat type, which is much used for printing works in duodecimo, is called Petit Romain in France, and Corpus in Germany; the latter name being probably derived from its use in printing the 'Corpus Juris:' 89 m's of Long Primer go to a foot.]




From Latin corpus.


corpus n (plural corpussen, diminutive corpusje n)

  1. a collection of writings, a text corpus

Usage notes

The word retained the original Latin neuter gender. It is one of the few Dutch words ending on -us that is not masculine.



With o for e in its oblique cases, from an s-stem neuter noun from Proto-Indo-European *krep- or *kʷerp- (body), which might be a taboo metathesis from *perkʷ- (life, world, oak).[1] See quercus and Gothic 𐍆𐌰𐌹𐍂𐍈𐌿𐍃 (fairƕus, world), Avestan [script needed] (kəhrpa) (body), Proto-Slavic *trupъ ("corpse, body"), Middle Persian [script needed] (kirb) (body)


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈkor.pus/, [ˈkɔr.pʊs]


corpus n (genitive corporis); third declension

  1. (anatomy) body, substance, material
    • Seneca Minor, Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, Epistula XCII
      Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.
      No one is free who is a slave to the body.
  2. the flesh of an animal's body
  3. a corpse
  4. the trunk or shaft of something
  5. a frame, body, system, structure, community, corporation
  6. (figuratively) the wood under the bark of a tree
  7. (Medieval) a corpus (collection of writings by a single author or addressing a certain topic)


Third declension neuter.

Case Singular Plural
nominative corpus corpora
genitive corporis corporum
dative corporī corporibus
accusative corpus corpora
ablative corpore corporibus
vocative corpus corpora

Derived terms

Related terms




  • corpus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • corpus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • CORPUS in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • Félix Gaffiot (1934), “corpus”, in Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • Meissner, Carl; Auden, Henry William (1894) Latin Phrase-Book, London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to spread over the whole body: per totum corpus diffundi
    • bodily strength: vires corporis or merely vires
    • a good constitution: firma corporis constitutio or affectio
    • sensual pleasure: voluptates (corporis)
    • to refresh oneself, minister to one's bodily wants: corpus curare (cibo, vino, somno)
    • to devote oneself body and soul to the good of the state: totum et animo et corpore in salutem rei publicae se conferre
    • the free men are sold as slaves: libera corpora sub corona (hasta) veneunt (B. G. 3. 16. 4)
    • wounds (scars) on the breast: vulnera adverso corpore accepta
  • corpus in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin
  • Andrew L. Sihler (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  1. Julius Pokorny, Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Bern: Francke, 1959, page 620.



corpus m (plural corpora or corpus)

  1. corpus (collection of writings)



corpus m (plural córpora)

  1. corpus