The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







With regard to living things, a body is the integral physical material of an individual, and contrasts with soul, personality and behavior. In some contexts, a superficial element of a body, such as hair may be regarded as not a part of it, even while attached. The same is true of excretable substances, such as stool, both while residing in the body and afterwards. Plants composed of more than one cell are not normally regarded as possessing a body.

"Body" often is used in connection with appearance, health issues and death. The body of a dead person is also called a corpse (human) or cadaver. The dead bodies of vertebrate animals and insects are sometimes called carcasses.

The human body consists of a head, neck, trunk, two arms, two legs and the genitals of the groin, which differ between males and females.

The study of the working of a body is anatomy.

A body is also a held-together collection or group of physical objects or abstract ideas, and in particular an organisation. The whole is of more than the sum of the individual members.


Injury is damage or harm caused to the structure or function of the body caused by an outside agent or force, which may be physical or chemical.

See also


  • Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death by Jessica Snyder Sachs (ISBN 0738207713)

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