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1. the entire physical structure of an animal or human being
2. the trunk or torso, not including the limbs, head, or tail
3. Maths a three-dimensional region with an interior
4. Physics an object or substance that has three dimensions, a mass, and is distinguishable from surrounding objects
5. the sound box of a guitar, violin, or similar stringed instrument
6. (in watercolour painting) a white filler mixed with pigments to make them opaque
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


the physical form of the individual human being, which, however, is equally a social product, given that human biological capacities are in many areas underdetermined by biology and profoundly shaped by cultural definitions and social influences.

Although not always fully explicit, numerous topic areas in sociology (e.g. the SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE, or the positionings of the body in face-to-face interaction as studied by GOFFMAN) raise central questions about the body, and the basic characteristics of the body (e.g. its vulnerability and finitude, and constraints on its mobility in time and space) possess crucial social implications. Examples of the latter are that every human society must preserve the basic material conditions for the health and welfare and reproduction of human bodies. The vulnerability of the body also means that the threat of VIOLENCE is a decisive factor in both the maintenance and the limitation of political POWER.

Recently the sociological study of the body (see also SOCIOLOGY OF THE BODY) has become a more central point of focus in the discipline, as seen from the attention given to the work of FOUCAULT or ELIAS on historical changes in the regulation of the body, and the study of the body as a medium of communication (see also BODY LANGUAGE) through gestures, posture, cosmetics and clothing. Feminist theory in particular has drawn attention to the stereotypical use of female bodies, and parts of bodies, in ADVERTISING and pornography, and also to the differences between the masculine and feminine body ideals in Western culture (see also FOOD. ANOREXIA NERVOSA).

In classical PHILOSOPHY, a central issue has been the mind-body relation (see DESCARTES, DUALISM), which finds echoes in many modern sociological debates (e.g. conceptions of FREE WILL). However, as MERLEAU-PONTY, among others, points out, any action always involves ‘bodily being’, so an outright dualism of mind and body is not appropriate. Finally (whatever plausibility may exist for modern conceptions of a DECENTRED SELF), as the physical site of the ‘person’, the boundaries and continuity of the individual body are significant in any identification, identity and continuities of the social SELF, although far from being their only basis.

In recent decades, attention to the constitution of the body has been particularly intense, influenced by FEMINISM as well as FOUCAULT (see Featherstone and Turner, 1996, in the founding issue of the journal Body & Society). See also POST-FEMINISM, BUTLER.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000

What does it mean when you dream about a body?

Dreams that somehow emphasize the physical body may represent something about one’s state of health. Because our personal identities are so tied up with the body, the body can also appear as a more general symbol of the self (e.g., a naked body may indicate that we feel exposed). Dead bodies are an entirely different matter. (See also Death).

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


(aerospace engineering)
The main part or main central portion of an airplane, airship, rocket, or the like; a fuselage or hull.
Any fabrication, structure, or other material form, especially one aerodynamically or ballistically designed; for example, an airfoil is a body designed to produce an aerodynamic reaction.
A separate entity or mass of water, such as an ocean or a lake.
An ore body, or pocket of mineral deposit.
The consistency or viscosity of fluid materials, such as lubricating oils, paints, and cosmetics.
(mechanical engineering)
The part of a drill which runs from the outer corners of the cutting lips to the shank or neck.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The principal volume of a building, such as the nave of a church.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Dreaming about your body generally suggests that you are dreaming about your personal identity. Who we are is wrapped around what we look like. Our self-esteem and self-worth are too frequently dependent on our physical appearance. This dream may be pointing out some of the difficulties or pleasures in daily life that are the result of self-identity and based on attachment to our physical bodies. The body in general is the symbol of self, and the details in the dream will lead you to further interpretation. Additionally, if you are dreaming of a specific body region, or part, consider your health status.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among girls the increased physical development is revealed in 22.3% (61/274) patients; body height excess more than 2Z took place at 3.7% (10/274) children.
(1998) that the body height of foals at birth accounts for about 60% of their final adult height and that; at 12 months of age, saddle horses have already attained 85 to 90% of their adult height.
The body height and length of kids reared under semi- intensive management system was found higher (40.5 cm) and (39 cm) than the kids reared under intensive management system (39.33 cm) and (37.67 cm), respectively.
Increased body height (>90 percentile) had 7% of the examined adolescents from group V1, 23% from group V2, 14% from group V3 and 37% from group V4.
###Monthly body height gain MSE###Monthly body length gain MSE###Monthly chest girth gain MSE
Secular trend in body height and weight of Turkish adults.
Several studies investigated the relationship between specific anthropometric characteristics such as single skin-fold thicknesses and the sum of skin-fold thicknesses [18-54], circumferences of limbs [21-27,29,31-33.35,37-39,50-52,55-61], length of limbs [29,31,33,36,46,48,50,54,59,61-63], body mass [19,20,22,23,26,29,31-33,36,37,39,42,45,46,48,50-54,57,59-61,64-71], body height [22,23,25-27,29,31,33,36,46,48,50,51,56,59-63,67,71-74], body mass index [19,20,22,23,29,25-27,31-33,36,37,39,44,46,50-52,54,56,57,59-62,65,66,71,75], and percent body fat [9,19,20,22,23.25-27,29,31-34,36-39,40,44-48,50-54,56,58,59-61,65,66,76-81] with endurance performance in bi-variate analyses.
[36] reported a significant secular increase from 1993 to 2003 in body weight and body height measurements in 7- to 15-year-old boys and girls in Ankara, Turkey.
The strongest, highly significant, positive correlations were observed between body height and the following trials: medicine ball backward throw (r = 0.51) and medicine ball forward throw (r = 0.53), as well as between those trials and body mass (r = 0.48 and r = 0.50 respectively).
The aim of this study was to investigate 1) body height's possible link to cardiovascular risk factors, 2) its association with overall mortality and 3) with CHD incidence, after adjusting for a wide range of risk factors in Turkish adults who represent both a shorter population than Western people and have a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) (18).
After adjustment for ethnicity, age, BMI, body height, parity, education level, and first-degree relatives with diabetes, factors significantly associated with GDM by the WHO criteria were body height per cm (odds ratio, 0.92), low education level (OR, 1.83), and having a first degree relative with diabetes (OR, 2.28).