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corpus delicti

[kawr-puh s di-lik-tahy] /ˈkɔr pəs dɪˈlɪk taɪ/
noun, plural corpora delicti
[kawr-per-uh di-lik-tahy] /ˈkɔr pər ə dɪˈlɪk taɪ/ (Show IPA).
Law.
1.
the basic element or fact of a crime, as, in murder, the death of the murdered person.
2.
the object, as the body of a murdered person, upon which a crime has been committed and that serves as evidence proving that the crime was committed.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35; < Neo-Latin: literally, body of the offense
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for corpus delicti

corpus delicti

/dɪˈlɪktaɪ/
noun
1.
(law) the body of facts that constitute an offence
Word Origin
New Latin, literally: the body of the crime
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 corpus delicti

1832, Latin, literally "body of the offense;" not "the murder victim's body," but the basic elements that make up a crime; in the case of a murder, including the body of the murdered person.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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