Definition of incorporeal in English:



  • 1Not composed of matter; having no material existence:

    ‘a supreme but incorporeal being called God’
    • ‘The Stoics drew a fundamental distinction between two realms of being, a material realm of bodies and states of affairs and an incorporeal realm of events.’
    • ‘The thing indicated by the word, and the word's relationship to it must, in effect, disappear in order for language to be transacted at the incorporeal, or the transcendental level of meaning and idea.’
    • ‘They are spiritual beings, incorporeal intelligences, and they may ‘have their origins in personalities’.’
    • ‘Since the causes are immaterial, intellectual and eternal, so their created effects are essentially incorporeal, immaterial, intellectual, and eternal.’
    • ‘But in the common variety, they're ordinary people who believe it's their calling to help people worship a particular incorporeal deity instead of rocks.’
    intangible, impalpable, non-material, non-physical
    bodiless, unembodied, disembodied
    ethereal, unsubstantial, insubstantial, airy, aerial
    spiritual, ghostly, spectral, phantom, wraithlike, transcendental, unearthly, supernatural
    unreal, imaginary, illusory, chimerical, hallucinatory
    immaterial, discarnate, disincarnate, unbodied, phantasmal, phantasmic
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law Having no physical existence.
      • ‘Property includes the rights in and to any movable property, immovable property, corporeal and incorporeal property.’
      • ‘It is not an incorporeal right, such as, for example, an easement, which appertains to Mr McArdle's land and adversely affects the registered Red Land.’
      • ‘He pointed out that legal recognition of trade marks as a species of incorporeal property was first accorded by the Court of Chancery in the first half of the 19th century.’
      • ‘They could be patrimonial things or extra-patrimonial things; common things or sacred things; principal things or accessorial things; corporeal things or incorporeal things.’
      • ‘Excluding others from access to incorporeal intellectual works was impossible and therefore the legal system, including copyright law, seemed anachronistic.’


Late Middle English: from Latin incorporeus, from in- not + corporeus (from corpus, corpor- body) + -al.