keep body and soul together


noun, plural bodies.
the physical structure and material substance of an animal or plant, living or dead.
a corpse; carcass.
the trunk or main mass of a thing: the body of a tree.
Anatomy, Zoology. the physical structure of a human being or animal, not including the head, limbs, and tail; trunk; torso.
Architecture. the principal mass of a building.
the section of a vehicle, usually in the shape of a box, cylindrical container, or platform, in or on which passengers or the load is carried.
Nautical. the hull of a ship.
Aeronautics. the fuselage of a plane.
Printing. the shank of a type, supporting the face. See diag. under type.
Geometry. a figure having the three dimensions of length, breadth, and thickness; a solid.
Physics. a mass, especially one considered as a whole.
the major portion of an army, population, etc.: The body of the American people favors the president's policy.
the principal part of a speech or document, minus introduction, conclusion, indexes, etc.
a person: She's a quiet sort of body.
Law. the physical person of an individual.
a collective group: student body; corporate body.
Astronomy. an object in space, as a planet or star.
a separate physical mass or quantity, especially as distinguished from other masses or quantities.
consistency or density; richness; substance: This wine has good body. Wool has more body than rayon.
the part of a dress that covers the trunk or the part of the trunk above the waist.
Ceramics. the basic material of which a ceramic article is made.
verb (used with object), bodied, bodying.
to invest with or as with a body.
to represent in bodily form (usually followed by forth ).
of or pertaining to the body; bodily.
of or pertaining to the main reading matter of a book, article, etc., as opposed to headings, illustrations, or the like.
in a body, as a group; together; collectively: We left the party in a body.
keep body and soul together, to support oneself; maintain life: Few writers can make enough to keep body and soul together without another occupation.

before 900; Middle English; Old English bodig; akin to Old High German botah

1, 2. Body, carcass, corpse, cadaver agree in referring to a physical organism, usually human or animal. Body refers to the material organism of an individual, human or animal, either living or dead: the muscles in a horse's body; the body of a victim (human or animal ). Carcass refers only to the dead body of an animal, unless applied humorously or contemptuously to the human body: a sheep's carcass; Save your carcass. Corpse refers only to the dead body of a human being: preparing a corpse for burial. Cadaver refers to a dead body, usually a corpse, particularly one used for scientific study: dissection of cadavers in anatomy classes. 3. substance, bulk. 12. mass, group, throng, multitude; bulk, preponderance, majority.

12. handful, scattering, few. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
body (ˈbɒdɪ)
n , pl bodies
1.  a.  the entire physical structure of an animal or human beingRelated: corporeal, physical
 b.  (as modifier): body odour
2.  the flesh, as opposed to the spirit: while we are still in the body
3.  the trunk or torso, not including the limbs, head, or tail
4.  a dead human or animal; corpse
5.  the largest or main part of anything: the body of a vehicle; the body of a plant
6.  a separate or distinct mass of water or land
7.  the main part; majority: the body of public opinion
8.  the central part of a written work: the body of a thesis as opposed to the footnotes
9.  a number of individuals regarded as a single entity; group: the student body; they marched in a body
10.  maths a three-dimensional region with an interior
11.  physics an object or substance that has three dimensions, a mass, and is distinguishable from surrounding objects
12.  fullness in the appearance of the hair
13.  the characteristic full quality of certain wines, determined by the density and the content of alcohol or tannin: a Burgundy has a heavy body
14.  substance or firmness, esp of cloth
15.  the sound box of a guitar, violin, or similar stringed instrument
16.  a woman's close-fitting one-piece garment for the torso
17.  the part of a dress covering the body from the shoulders to the waist
18.  another name for shank
19.  a.  the pigment contained in or added to paint, dye, etc
 b.  the opacity of a paint in covering a surface
 c.  the apparent viscosity of a paint
20.  in watercolour painting
 a.  a white filler mixed with pigments to make them opaque
 b.  See also gouache (as modifier): body colour
21.  printing the measurement from top to bottom of a piece of type, usually ascender to descender
22.  an informal or dialect word for a person
23.  keep body and soul together to manage to keep alive; survive
24.  (modifier) of or relating to the main reading matter of a book as distinct from headings, illustrations, appendices, etc: the body text
vb , bodies, bodies, bodying, bodied
25.  (usually foll by forth) to give a body or shape to
Related: corporeal, physical
[Old English bodig; related to Old Norse buthkr box, Old High German botah body]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bodig "trunk, chest" (of a man or animal); related to O.H.G. botah, of unknown origin. Not elsewhere in Germanic, and the word has died out in German, replaced by leib, originally "life," and körper, from Latin. In English, extension to "person" is from late 13c. Meaning "main part" of anything
was in late O.E., hence its use in reference to vehicles (1520s). Contrasted with soul since at least mid-13c. Meaning "corpse" (short for dead body) is from late 13c. Transferred to matter generally in M.E. (e.g. heavenly body, late 14c.). Body politic "the nation, the state" first recorded 1520s, legalese, with French word order. Body image was coined 1935. Body language is attested from 1967, perhaps from Fr. langage corporel (1966). Phrase over my dead body attested by 1833.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

body bod·y (bŏd'ē)

  1. The entire material or physical structure of an organism, especially of a human.

  2. The physical part of a person.

  3. A corpse or carcass.

  4. The trunk or torso of a human, as distinguished from the head, neck, and extremities.

  5. The largest or principal part, as of an organ; corpus.

  6. A physical thing or kind of substance.

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

keep body and soul together

Stay alive, support life, as in He earns barely enough to keep body and soul together. This expression alludes to the belief that the soul gives life to the body, which therefore cannot survive without it. Today it most often is applied to earning a living. [Early 1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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