Definition of corposant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkôrpəˌsant/
Pronunciation: /ˈkôrpəsənt/


An appearance of St. Elmo’s fire on a mast, rigging, or other structure.
Example sentences
  • Everybody knows nowadays that a corposant is nothing whatever but an electrical phenomenon, and therefore merely an indication that the atmosphere is surcharged with electricity.
  • The most stunning demonstration of its unearthly spell occurs late in Pequod's ill-fated voyage, when the ship is illuminated by an eerie outburst of corposants in the midst of a violent squall.
  • Seeing St. Elmo's Fire, jolly Stubb changed to pleading Stubb: ‘The corposants have mercy on us all!’


Mid 16th century: from Old Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian corpo santo 'holy body'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cor·po·sant

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