Definition of corpus in English:



  • 1A collection of written texts, especially the entire works of a particular author or a body of writing on a particular subject.

    ‘the Darwinian corpus’
    • ‘They deserve fuller annotation and analysis than the editor has provided, but are nevertheless welcome additions to the corpus of published epic texts.’
    • ‘That is the issue where attention to critical thought and the corpus of historical writing in general becomes crucial.’
    • ‘Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was not a bolt from the blue: it fitted naturally into, as well as transcending, a corpus of writing on evolution.’
    • ‘This text is an important contribution to a growing corpus on a volatile subject that has generated studies in several disciplines.’
    • ‘The entire corpus of Modern English prose has grown up since, and been influenced by, the works of Tyndale and Coverdale, and during the formative period of the early translations there was little other widely available reading matter.’
    collection, compilation, body, entity, whole, aggregation, mass
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A collection of written or spoken material in machine-readable form, assembled for the purpose of linguistic research.
      • ‘Using a sample corpus of educational materials for the Spanish-speaking population, we show that this is indeed the case.’
      • ‘To answer these questions, authentic learner data has been compared with native speaker data using computerized corpora and linguistic software tools to speed up the initial stage of the linguistic analysis.’
      • ‘The major data source for the linguist is not a corpus of attested utterances but a native speaker's intuitions.’
      • ‘A preliminary analysis of various vocabulary items based on the linguistic corpus obtained suggests that expected dialectical variation exists between and within communities.’
      • ‘Some linguists have collected large corpora of written or spoken samples of a language, their frequency lists and studies of data made easier by computational processing.’
  • 2Anatomy
    The main body or mass of a structure.

    • ‘The spines in both rows increase in size away from the umbo and there are a few rare scattered additional spines on the ventral corpus.’
    • ‘The right fallopian tube, right ovary, uterine corpus, and uterine cervix were all grossly unremarkable.’
    • ‘No lymphovascular invasion was identified, and no uterine corpus or vaginal involvement was evident.’
    • ‘An estimated 36,100 cases of cancer of the uterine corpus, usually of the endometrium, were expected to be diagnosed in 2000.’
    • ‘Gastrin acts on the enterochromaffin-like cells in the gastric corpus to release histamine, which stimulates parietal cells to secrete acid.’
    1. 2.1 The central part of the stomach, between the fundus and the antrum.
      • ‘Chronic gastritis as well as activity was more prevalent as well as severe in the antrum as compared to the corpus.’
      • ‘Within the stomach, the gastrostomy site should be in the middle to distal third of the corpus.’
      • ‘The classical way anatomists divide the stomach (fundus, corpus, antrum, and pylorus) makes little sense in terms of motor function.’
      • ‘We have tried to overcome this drawback by taking biopsy samples from the anterior as well as posterior walls in both the antrum and the corpus.’
      • ‘The former includes the fundus and the rostral two-thirds of the corpus, while the latter constitutes the rest of the corpus, the antrum, and the pylorus.’


Late Middle English (denoting a human or animal body): from Latin, literally ‘body’. corpus (sense 1) dates from the early 18th century.