Main definitions of corporal in English

: corporal1corporal2corporal3

corporal1

noun

  • 1A rank of non-commissioned officer in the army, above lance corporal or private first class and below sergeant.

    • ‘Not many youths are interested in assuming the duties of privates or corporals without compensation.’
    • ‘Buck sergeants, rather than corporals, served as their subordinates.’
    • ‘This is the result of bad leadership, from the top generals right down to those corporals and sergeants and captains who didn't do their duty.’
    • ‘Usually, they move in teams of three to five men, with the senior man being a corporal or sergeant.’
    • ‘He then would assign to his men the ranks of sergeant, corporal, private and so on.’
    • ‘The Americans - three corporals and one private first class - were from the 4th Ranger Company and had volunteered for a classified mission.’
    • ‘He had joined up while still in his teens, seen active service and risen to the rank of corporal in the Royal Army Corps.’
    • ‘The others were two married corporals, a single corporal and two unmarried lance-corporals.’
    • ‘The Defence People Committee has endorsed an initiative to offer completion bonuses to selected corporals and sergeants in three critical trades.’
    • ‘Maybe he can sell it to generals, but not many privates, corporals and second lieutenants.’
    • ‘However, white-collar has moved from sergeant to corporal in terms of who should be prepared as leaders.’
    • ‘Early in my 10th Infantry days, a corporal assembled about 30 of us new soldiers from different units for basic close-order drill.’
    • ‘He was due to marry his fiancée Debbie this year and was promoted from the rank of lance corporal to corporal only days before his death.’
    • ‘They marched in twos, first sergeant, then corporal, then the recruits in pairs.’
    • ‘His colleagues, a major, warrant officer and another corporal, were killed.’
    • ‘All corporals and above should be considered leaders and should be prepared as adaptive, self-aware leaders.’
    • ‘Squad leaders became buck sergeants in compensation, with a corporal as second in command.’
    • ‘The number of officers in a battalion was thus reduced dramatically during the war, sergeants and corporals often taking over tasks normally performed by officers.’
    • ‘He saw privates, corporals, sergeants, and all the other ranks waiting for treatment from anything such as a broken limb, to a gunshot wound to a vital area of the body.’
    • ‘The quality of America's Army's leaders, from corporal to general, determines the outcome of ground combat.’
  • 2British historical A petty officer who attended solely to police matters, under the master-at-arms.

  • 3

    North American term for fallfish

Origin

Mid 16th century: from French, obsolete variant of caporal, from Italian caporale, probably based on Latin corpus, corpor- ‘body (of troops)’, with a change of spelling in Italian due to association with capo ‘head’.

Pronunciation

corporal

/ˈkɔːp(ə)r(ə)l/

Main definitions of corporal in English

: corporal1corporal2corporal3

corporal2

adjective

  • Relating to the human body.

    • ‘Decent wine and good food are among Taylor's corporal pleasures and he speaks with what one local describes as a ‘snooty, old-fashioned Ulster accent’.’
    • ‘Two skilled therapists subject me to an extreme form of corporal reward known as the Harmony Banyan Massage.’
    • ‘This fact confirms directly the concept of higher responsiveness of brain regions to acupuncture of auricular versus corporal points.’
    • ‘Computers, waffle irons, toasters, you name it, all have one major advantage over us corporal beings: They aren't burdened with the ability to think.’
    • ‘Many encumbrances that our bodies endure, including detrimental ones like viruses, have an unwelcome and deeply altering effect on our already flimsy corporal authority.’
    bodily, fleshly, corporeal, carnal, mortal, earthly, worldly, physical, material, real, actual, tangible, substantial
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin corporalis, from corpus, corpor- ‘body’.

Pronunciation

corporal

/ˈkɔːp(ə)r(ə)l/

Main definitions of corporal in English

: corporal1corporal2corporal3

corporal3

noun

  • A cloth on which the chalice and paten are placed during the celebration of the Eucharist.

Origin

Middle English: from medieval Latin corporale (pallium) ‘body (cloth)’, from Latin corpus, corpor- ‘body’.

Pronunciation

corporal

/ˈkɔːp(ə)r(ə)l/