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corporal2

[kawr-per-uh l, -pruh l] /ˈkɔr pər əl, -prəl/
noun
1.
Military.
  1. a noncommissioned officer ranking above a private first class in the U.S. Army or lance corporal in the Marines and below a sergeant.
  2. a similar rank in the armed services of other countries.
2.
(initial capital letter) a U.S. surface-to-surface, single-stage ballistic missile.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; < Middle French, variant of caporal (influenced by corporal corporal1) < Italian caporale, apparently contraction of phrase capo corporale corporal head, i.e., head of a body (of soldiers). See caput
Related forms
corporalcy, corporalship, noun

corporal3

[kawr-per-uh l, -pruh l] /ˈkɔr pər əl, -prəl/
noun, Ecclesiastical
1.
a fine cloth, usually of linen, on which the consecrated elements are placed or with which they are covered.
Also called communion cloth.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English corporalle < Medieval Latin corporale (pallium) eucharistic (altar cloth); replacing earlier corporas < Old French < Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for corporals

corporal1

/ˈkɔːpərəl; -prəl/
adjective
1.
of or relating to the body; bodily
2.
an obsolete word for corporeal
Derived Forms
corporality, noun
corporally, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin corporālis of the body, from corpus body

corporal2

/ˈkɔːpərəl; -prəl/
noun
1.
a noncommissioned officer junior to a sergeant in the army, air force, or marines
2.
(in the Royal Navy) a petty officer who assists the master-at-arms
Derived Forms
corporalship, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, via Italian, from Latin caput head; perhaps also influenced in Old French by corps body (of men)

corporal3

/ˈkɔːpərəl; -prəl/
noun
1.
a white linen cloth on which the bread and wine are placed during the Eucharist
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin corporāle pallium eucharistic altar cloth, from Latin corporālis belonging to the body, from corpus body (of Christ)
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 corporals

corporal

n.

lowest noncommissioned army officer, 1570s, from Middle French corporal, from Italian caporale "a corporal," from capo "chief, head," from Latin caput "head" (see capitulum). So called because he was in charge of a body of troops. Perhaps influenced by Italian corpo, from Latin corps "body." Or corps may be the source and caput the influence, as the OED suggests.

adj.

"of or belonging to the body," late 14c., from Old French corporal (12c., Modern French corporel) "of the body, physical, strong," from Latin corporalis "pertaining to the body," from corpus (genitive corporis) "body" (see corps). Corporal punishment "punishment of the body" (as opposed to fine or loss of rank or privilege) is from 1580s. Related: Corporality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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