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[kawr-puh-rey-shuh n] /ˌkɔr pəˈreɪ ʃən/
an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
(initial capital letter) the group of principal officials of a borough or other municipal division in England.
any group of persons united or regarded as united in one body.
Informal. a paunch; potbelly.
Origin of corporation
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin corporātiōn- (stem of corporātiō) ‘guild’, Latin: ‘physical makeup, build’. See corporate, -ion
Related forms
corporational, adjective
multicorporation, noun
noncorporation, noun
subcorporation, noun
supercorporation, noun
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for corporation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If my bride is to become a corporation with limited liability, somebody else can go in ahead of me.

    Pandora's Box Frank Wedekind
  • We handle most of the corporation meetings that way when it's all cut and dried.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • They will not drag such miscreants in their rear, now that they form a corporation with charters and statutes publicly decreed.

    Acrobats and Mountebanks Hugues Le Roux
  • The expense of managing this corporation exceeded its revenue.

  • At that time the ground was really an open field; and it seems to have been acquired by the corporation in the sixteenth century.

British Dictionary definitions for corporation


a group of people authorized by law to act as a legal personality and having its own powers, duties, and liabilities
Also called municipal corporation. the municipal authorities of a city or town
a group of people acting as one body
(informal) a large paunch or belly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for corporation

mid-15c., "persons united in a body for some purpose," from such use in Anglo-Latin, from Late Latin corporationem (nominative corporatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin corporare "to embody" (see corporate). Meaning "legally authorized entity" (including municipal governments and modern business companies) is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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corporation in Culture

corporation definition

A business organization owned by a group of stockholders, each of whom enjoys limited liability (that is, each can be held responsible for losses only up to the limit of his or her investment). A corporation has the ability to raise capital by selling stock to the public.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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