Definition of body in English:


Syllabification: bod·y
Pronunciation: /ˈbädē

noun (plural bodies)

  • 1The physical structure of a person or an animal, including the bones, flesh, and organs: it’s important to keep your body in good condition [as modifier]: body temperature
    More example sentences
    • This network has been borrowed many times in the course of evolution to build new structures in animal bodies.
    • While human bodies have skeletons of bones, our cells have a framework made of a filamentous network.
    • Most of us have been taught to think of our body as a physical structure, isolated from everything else.
    figure, frame, form, physique, anatomy, skeleton; soma
    informal bod, soul case
  • 1.1The trunk apart from the head and the limbs: the blow almost severed his head from his body
    More example sentences
    • Occasionally heads sit oddly on their bodies, and swollen limbs meet their trunks awkwardly.
    • Secondary infection may occur as a result of bites being scratched, although bites may also become infected by the bacteria carried on the bodies or limbs of the lice or in their faeces.
    • Hundreds of limbs protruded from its body and two large black wings were folded on its back.
  • 1.2A corpse: they found his body washed up on the beach
    More example sentences
    • I realized today that, all week, I've been referring to the dead I've seen as bodies and corpses.
    • Then for the next 8 hours during the second stage I evacuated corpses or dead bodies.
    • You know, the case is more complicated than her body washing up a mile from his boat.
    corpse, carcass, skeleton, remains
    informal stiff
    Medicine cadaver
  • 1.3The physical and mortal aspect of a person as opposed to the soul or spirit: a duality of body and soul
    More example sentences
    • It is their desire that the message of their music would bring New Life to your spirit, soul and body.
    • It taught me how to work always to bring mind and body and spirit together and the beauty of music.
    • It is a non-human movement that perhaps can awaken a movement within the human spirit and body.
  • 1.4 informal A person’s body regarded as an object of sexual desire: he was just after her body
    More example sentences
    • Finally we might be able to explore our thoughts, our desires, our bodies, and be open about it too.
    • He was finally bored with her youthful prettiness and desired her body no longer.
  • 1.5 informal dated A person, often one of a specified type or character: a motherly body
    More example sentences
    • There were two main bodies interested, one a builder from Castlebar, the other in the same trade from Westport.
  • 2The main section of a car or aircraft: the body of the aircraft was filled with smoke
    More example sentences
    • I saw a portion of the engine and the wing separate from the main body of the aircraft.
    • They loaded the bodies on to military aircraft to take home to their families.
    • However, within the Faraday cage of a Peugeot 307 car body, it doesn't perform.
  • 3The main or central part of something, especially a building or text: information that changes regularly is kept apart from the main body of the text
    More example sentences
    • Plenty of them are either next door to the landlord or, indeed, within the body of the main house itself.
    • Curiously, there is no attempt to integrate these points into the main body of the text.
    • Does the main body of text immediately follow the title, or does it begin on the next page?
    main part, central part, core, heart
  • 3.1The part of an e-mail containing the message, as opposed to information such as the subject and sender: put your name, address, and daytime phone number in the e-mail’s body Compare with header ( sense 4).
    More example sentences
    • No attachments need to be opened to start the virus spreading, only the email itself - the code is embedded in the body of the email.
    • The email server searches through the body of the message for specific URLs that have been cultivated from a large sample of spam.
    • Although the body of your email takes second place to its colorful and exciting subject line, you should still spend a significant amount of effort writing and working on it.
  • 4A large or substantial amount of something; a mass or collection of something: a rich body of Canadian folklore large bodies of seawater
    More example sentences
    • There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society.
    • The collection of such large bodies of data limits the social and biological variables that can be recorded.
    • A vast body of evidence from previously unavailable sources has been collected.
    expanse, mass, area, stretch, tract, sweep, extentquantity, amount, volume, collection, mass, corpus
  • 4.1A group of people with a common purpose or function acting as an organized unit: a regulatory body international bodies of experts
    More example sentences
    • The Sporting Trust is an independent body that organises sporting functions to raise money for cancer.
    • The state has to realise the corporate bodies cannot function like charitable organisations.
    • He holds positions in five public bodies and organisations, and owns a flat in Sha Tin held under his wife's name.
    association, organization, group, party, company, society, circle, syndicate, guild, corporation, contingent
  • 5 [often with adjective] technical A distinct material object: the path taken by the falling body
    More example sentences
    • Apples fall to the ground; so do material objects and unsupported bodies.
    • At this point Aristotle observes that substances - material bodies - are in a sense composite.
    • One contains constrained bodies that fall slowly, the other pendulums that repeat their motions again and again.
  • 6A full or substantial quality of flavor in wine.
    More example sentences
    • The wine itself is rather fuller in body and more alcoholic than Chianti, reflecting its warmer production zone.
    • But it's the structure and body of this wine that really make it stand out.
    • They describe the teas in terms of light, medium, and full body as well as in terms of taste.
  • 6.1Fullness or thickness of a person’s hair: designed to add body to limp and straight hair
    More example sentences
    • It will also remove a great deal of the fullness and the body from the hair giving it a sleeker look.
    fullness, thickness, substance, bounce, lift, shape
  • 7(In pottery) a clay used for making the main part of ceramic ware, as distinct from a glaze.
    More example sentences
    • In Siraj's ceramics, this body is in clay, bearing several forms and colours within it.
    • Transfer printing permitted the rapid and exact replication of detailed designs on a variety of ceramic bodies.
    • The ceramics section has dealt with processes for clay body formulation for various uses.

verb (bodies, bodying, bodied)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1 (body something forth) Give material form to something abstract: he bodied forth the traditional Prussian remedy for all ills
    More example sentences
    • He concludes that we should regard the individual as ‘organism plus environment’ and that the creation and maintenance of a life project is foremost a process of ‘bodying it forth’ in the multi-relational emergence of life.
    • Looking out over the city I could contain it all, contain it and body it forth.
    • It would seem that he had a certain experience with regard to the nature of matter and bodied it forth in the idiom and thought images of the age in which he had grown up.
  • 2Build the bodywork of (a motor vehicle): an era when automobiles were bodied over wooden frames
    More example sentences
    • It is a hand-built fiberglass bodied proof-of-concept car, designed to signal DC's intended production methods.
    • Meanwhile, the 10,000 hp, jet powered, saloon bodied car, Fireforce will make a return appearance at the base.
    • This was a most notable motorcar and was the first fibreglass bodied car.


body and soul

Involving every aspect of a person; completely: the company owned them body and soul
More example sentences
  • It was desperate and helpless and came from somewhere deep inside her in huge loud sobs that racked her entire body and soul.
  • Vocal Liam Hayton put body and soul into the rearguard action but Harrogate stretched ahead with a converted try after a catalogue of errors in defence.
  • Right now, he's wasting no time in preparing body and soul for what could be the biggest fight of his life - an attempt to return to the glory days of Death Row.

in a body

All together; as a group: they departed in a body
More example sentences
  • Yesterday was the first time boys from the Primary School came over to the College in a body to see the Founder's Day ceremony.
  • Each tribe marched in a body and close to each other so that none might be left behind, nor was there any straggling allowed.
  • In practice, we explore this threshold, this place where old and new meet in a body.

keep body and soul (or soul and body) together

Stay alive, especially in difficult circumstances: do you think a man can keep body and soul together by selling coconuts?
More example sentences
  • He is busy hoarding our money - money that belongs to taxpayers - in the bank, while people are being forced to borrow to stay alive, to keep body and soul together.
  • Very few individuals and organisations take the trouble of even conducting a survey or identifying poor Muslims of rural areas who wage a daily battle to win a war of survival to keep body and soul together.
  • In the early 1950s she returned to Edinburgh, set up Ancona Films in her flat in Rose Street, shot some superb short documentaries, kept body and soul together by working as a medical locum and met Edinburgh-born Pirie.

over my dead body

informal Used to emphasize that one opposes something and would do anything to prevent it from happening: she moves into our home over my dead body
More example sentences
  • And unless they change that character's name and are willing to protect my father's reputation, I will not allow this movie to be made - over my dead body.
  • At some point during his long, intolerant career, he must have said, ‘They'll legalize homosexuality over my dead body.’
  • For his part, the Fulham manager, Chris Coleman, insisted his prized striker was going nowhere and said: ‘He'll be sold over my dead body.’



[in combination]: a wide-bodied jet


Old English bodig, of unknown origin.

More definitions of body

Definition of body in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space