n. pl. bod·ies
a. The entire material or physical structure of an organism, especially of a human or other animal.
b. The physical aspect of a person as opposed to the spirit; the flesh.
c. A corpse or carcass.
a. The trunk or torso of a human or animal.
b. The part of a garment covering the torso.
a. A human; a person: a kindly body.
b. A group of individuals regarded as an entity; a corporation.
4. A number of persons, concepts, or things regarded as a group: We walked out in a body.
5. The main or central part, as:
a. Anatomy The largest or principal part of an organ; corpus.
b. The nave of a church.
c. The content of a book or document exclusive of prefatory matter, codicils, indexes, or appendices.
d. The passenger- and cargo-carrying part of an aircraft, ship, or other vehicle.
e. Music The sound box of an instrument.
6. A mass of matter that is distinct from other masses: a body of water; a celestial body.
7. A collection or quantity, as of material or information: the body of evidence.
8. Consistency of substance, as in paint, textiles, or wine: a sauce with body.
9. Printing The part of a block of type underlying the impression surface.
tr.v. bod·ied, bod·y·ing, bod·iesIdiom:
1. To furnish with a body.
2. To give shape to. Usually used with forth: “Imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown” (Shakespeare).
a. To play defense with one's body up against (that of another player) so as to restrict the player's mobility, as in basketball.
b. To collide with and force (another player) in a certain direction: bodied him off the puck.
take the bodySports
To play in a rough physical way, dealing out many body checks, as in hockey.
[Middle English bodi, from Old English bodig.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.