Corpse (k?rps), n. [OF. cors (sometimes written corps), F. corps, L. corpus; akin to AS. hrif womb. See Midriff, and cf. Corse, Corselet, Corps, Cuerpo.]

1.

A human body in general, whether living or dead; -- sometimes contemptuosly.

[Obs.]

Formerly written (after the French form) corps. See Corps, n., 1.

2.

The dead body of a human being; -- used also Fig.

He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet. D. Webster.

Corpse candle. (a) A thick candle formerly used at a lich wake, or the customary watching with a corpse on the night before its interment. (b) A luminous appearance, resembling the flame of a candle, sometimes seen in churchyards and other damp places, superstitiously regarded as portending death. -- Corpse gate, the gate of a burial place through which the dead are carried, often having a covered porch; -- called also lich gate.

 

© Webster 1913.

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