Definition of body in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbɒdi/

noun (plural bodies)

1The physical structure, including the bones, flesh, and organs, of a person or an animal: it’s important to keep your body in good condition
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.
anatomy, figure, frame, form, shape, build, physique, framework, skeleton, bones, flesh and bones
informal bod
rare corse, soma
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.
torso, trunk, chest, stomach, middle
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, dead body, cadaver, carcass, skeleton, remains, relics
informal stiff
1.3 [mass noun] The physical and mortal aspect of a person as opposed to the soul or spirit: we’re together in body and spirit
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 of a specified type: 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 motor vehicle or aircraft: the factory had produced more car bodies than needed 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.
bodywork, hull, fuselage, outer casing
3The main or central part of something, especially a building or text: the main body of the house was built in 1625
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, principal part, central part, core, heart, hub, nub, kernel
3.1The part of an email containing the message, as opposed to information such as the subject and sender. Compare with header (sense 4). put your name, address, and daytime phone number in the email’s body
More example sentences
  • Comments must be contained in the body of the message; do not send attached files.
  • Place your cursor in the body of your email message
  • Submit your materials as plain text (ASCII) or in rich text format in the body of an e-mail message.
4A large amount 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, region, tract, breadth, sweep, extent, aggregate, accumulation, concretion, accretion
quantity, amount, volume, collection, proportion, mass, corpus
4.1An organized group of people with a common purpose or function: 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.
majority, preponderance, greater part, major part, main part, best part, better part, lion's share, bulk, mass, generality
association, organization, group, grouping, party, band, company, society, club, circle, fellowship, partnership, fraternity, syndicate, guild, federation, confederation, bloc, corporation, contingent, coterie, clique
5 [often with adjective] technical A 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.
object, entity, item, piece of matter
6 [mass noun] A full or substantial quality of flavour in wine: best of all, this wine has body and finish
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: restructuring formulations help to add body
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, solidity, density, thickness, firmness, substance, mass;
shape, structure
7British A woman’s close-fitting stretch garment for the upper body, fastening at the crotch.
8(In pottery) a clay used for making the main part of ceramic ware, as distinct from a glaze.
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]
1 (body something forth) formal 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.
completely, entirely, totally, utterly, fully, thoroughly, wholeheartedly, unconditionally, unrestrictedly, one hundred per cent, in all respects, to the hilt, all the way

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 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 completely opposes something: 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.’


Old English bodig, of unknown origin.

  • bodice from mid 16th century:

    The original form of bodice was bodies, the plural of body (Old English). This referred to an item of clothing for the upper body from the mid 16th century, when the pronunciation of bodies would have been like that of bodice. A similar thing happened with dice, which is in origin the plural of die. A bodice ripper is a sexy romantic novel with a historical setting, often having a cover featuring a woman with revealingly torn clothes swooning in the arms of a masterful man. The term was not used until the start of the 1980s.

Words that rhyme with body

embody, Irrawaddy, Kirkcaldy, noddy, Passamaquoddy, shoddy, Soddy, squaddie, toddy, wadi

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: body

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