Corporal means "of the body." Corporal punishment involves physically harming someone. A corporal is also a noncommissioned officer in the Army, Air Force, and Marines.

In the military, a corporal is a soldier who rose through the ranks as an enlisted soldier, not going to one of the military colleges. Elsewhere, this word has to do with physical things and beings. A ghost is not corporal — it has no body. In a horror movie, corporal monsters like zombies and vampires can do more damage. You can also talk about corporal pleasures, like eating and drinking. When you see the word corporal (or corporeal), think body.

Definitions of corporal
  1. adjective
    affecting or characteristic of the body as opposed to the mind or spirit
    “a corporal defect”
    synonyms: bodily, corporeal, somatic
    involving the body as distinguished from the mind or spirit
  2. adjective
    possessing or existing in bodily form
    “"what seemed corporal melted as breath into the wind"- Shakespeare”
    synonyms: bodied, corporate, embodied, incarnate
    corporeal, material
    having material or physical form or substance
  3. noun
    a noncommissioned officer in the Army or Air Force or Marines
    see moresee less
    type of:
    enlisted officer, noncom, noncommissioned officer
    a military officer appointed from enlisted personnel
Word Family
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