American English

Definition of body noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. bodies)
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    of person/animal
  1. 1[countable] the whole physical structure of a human or an animal a human/female/male/naked body parts of the body His whole body was trembling. body fat/weight/temperature/size/heat The heart pumps blood around the body.
  2. 2[countable] the main part of a body not including the head, or not including the head, arms, and legs She had injuries to her head and body. He has a large body, but thin legs.
  3. 3[countable] the body of a dead person or animal a dead body The family of the missing girl has been called in by the police to identify the body.
  4. main part
  5. 4[singular] the body of something the main part of something, especially a building, a vehicle, or a book, an article, etc. the body of a plane (= the central part where the seats are) the main body of the text
  6. group of people
  7. 5[uncountable] a group of people who work or act together, often for an official purpose, or who are connected in some other way a regulatory/an advisory/a review body The governing body of the school is concerned about discipline. recognized professional bodies such as the Bar Association An independent body has been set up to investigate the affair. A large body of people will be affected by the tax cuts. The protesters marched in a body (= all together) to the White House. see also student body
  8. large amount
  9. 6[countable] body of something a large amount or collection of something a vast body of evidence/information/research large bodies of water (= lakes or oceans) There is a powerful body of opinion against the ruling.
  10. object
  11. 7[countable] (formal) an object heavenly bodies (= stars, planets, etc.) an operation to remove a foreign body (= something that would not usually be there) from a wound
  12. of drinks/hair
  13. 8[uncountable] the full strong flavor of alcoholic drinks or the thick healthy quality of someone's hair a wine with plenty of body Regular use of conditioner is supposed to give your hair more body.
  14. -bodied
  15. 9(in adjectives) having the type of body mentioned full-bodied red wines soft-bodied insects see also able-bodied
  16. Topic CollocationsPhysical AppearanceA person may be described as having:eyes (bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/shifty eyes piercing/penetrating/steely eyes bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesface a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose a straight/a pointy/a Roman/an aquiline nose full/thick/thin/pouty lips dry/chapped/cracked lips flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks soft/chubby/sunken cheeks white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth a large/high/broad/wide forehead a strong/weak/pointed/double chin a long/full/bushy/wispy beard a full/thin goatee a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil mustachehair and skin pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion deep/fine/small/facial wrinkles blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/ginger/gray hair straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair a bald/balding/shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/spot a side/center partbody a long/short/thick/slender/ (disapproving) scrawny neck broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest a flat/round/swollen/bulging stomach a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist big/wide/narrow/slim hips a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back thin/slender/muscular arms big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers long/muscular/hairy/shapely/ (informal) (often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs muscular/chubby/ (informal) (disapproving) flabby thighs/calves big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet a good/slim/slender/hourglass figure be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky buildIdioms
    body and soul
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    with all your energy She committed herself body and soul to fighting for the cause.
    keep body and soul together
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    to stay alive with just enough of the food, clothing, etc. that you need synonym survive They barely have enough money to keep body and soul together.
    not have a … bone in your body
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    to have none of the quality mentioned She was honest and hard-working, and didn't have an unkind bone in her body.
    over my dead body (informal)
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    used to show you are strongly opposed to something She moves into our home over my dead body.
    sell your body
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    to have sex with someone in exchange for money
Vocabulary Buildingactions expressing emotionsOften, parts of the body are closely linked to particular verbs. The combination of the verb and part of the body expresses an emotion or attitude.
actionpart of bodyyou are…
clenchfistangry, aggressive
clicktonguescolding somebody
licklipsanticipating something good, nervous
raiseeyebrowsinquiring, surprised
rubchintrying to think
shrugshouldersdoubtful, indifferent
snapfingersyou suddenly remember something
wrinklenosefeeling dislike or distaste
For example:She bit her lip nervously. He scratched his head and looked thoughtful. I wrinkled my nose in disgust. She raised questioning eyebrows.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: body