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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.
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for corporations
  • The first of its kind, this public-private partnership charts a future in which corporations support conservation.
  • It is our job as consumers to ensure that the market demands both practices from corporations.
  • The largest corporations are the main problem, but they would have no power without the politicians.
  • The other half is that corporations necessarily also earned beyond their means.
  • Therefore, the solution is to cause all corporations to fail.
  • As the engines of much global economic growth, corporations were inevitably at the heart of any solution.
  • Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops.
  • Eco-corporations are every bit as cut-throat, driven and committed to their goals as any other corporation.
  • The idea is that the money allows corporations to take on higher-risk projects.
  • Pharmaceutical corporations, once fearful of drug pirates, can hardly wait to move in.
British Dictionary definitions for corporations


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 corporations



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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corporations 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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