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[kawrps] /kɔrps/
a dead body, usually of a human being.
something no longer useful or viable:
rusting corpses of old cars.
Obsolete. a human or animal body, whether alive or dead.
1225-75; Middle English corps; orig. spelling variant of cors corse but the p is now sounded
Can be confused
core, corp, corps, corpse, corpus.
1. remains, cadaver. See body. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for corpses
  • Inevitably, it is replete with dismembered insect corpses.
  • Astronomers think white dwarfs must not be stars so much as the corpses of stars.
  • The thousands of corpses, many hanging in trees or washed up on beaches, immediately started to rot in the tropical heat.
  • Most corpses decayed normally, leaving bare bones as the only proof of lives extinguished.
  • Some of the landscape surrounding the couple's home is charred and dead, corpses of trees, smoke hanging gray between them.
  • He was told that six people died, but didn't see the corpses.
  • The idea could mean that neutron stars, as researchers call the stellar corpses, are denser than anyone expected.
  • The early days of open-heart surgery and organ transplant were littered with the corpses of failed procedures.
  • Lao villagers swap grisly tales of corpses dumped in the river.
  • Emergency services are struggling to put a number on fatalities as they continue to pull corpses from buildings reduced to rubble.
British Dictionary definitions for corpses


a dead body, esp of a human being; cadaver
(theatre, slang) to laugh or cause to laugh involuntarily or inopportunely while on stage
Word Origin
C14: from Old French corps body, from Latin corpus body
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 corpses



1540s, variant spelling of corps (q.v.). The -p- originally was silent, as in French, and with some speakers still is. The terminal -e was rare before 19c. Corpse-candle is attested from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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corpses in Medicine

corpse (kôrps)

  1. A dead body, especially the dead body of a human.

  2. A cadaver.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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