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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


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.

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).


(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.


The principal volume of a building, such as the nave of a church.


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Numbers of asbestos bodies on iron-stained tissue sections in relation to asbestos body counts in lung tissue digests.
Analysis of asbestos fibers and asbestos bodies in tissue samples from human lung: an international interlaboratory trial.
In contrast, the current analysis included 163 patients with asbestosis and 86 with DPF and examined the relationship between fibrosis and 8 different parameters: total (coated plus uncoated) commercial amphibole fibers, uncoated commercial amphibole fibers, coated commercial amphibole fibers, total uncoated fibers, asbestos bodies (light microscopy), noncommercial amphibole fibers, chrysotile fibers, and nonasbestos mineral fibers.
Although one might argue that chrysotile may be the culprit in some of these cases, this is unlikely because bona fide cases of asbestosis caused by chrysotile have readily detectable chrysotile (and tremolite) fibers by electron microscopy and also meet histologic criteria for asbestosis in finding asbestos bodies in histologic sections.
18) Possible explanations for such cases not meeting histologic criteria for asbestosis include poor coating efficiency (ie, asbestos body formation) for some individuals and sampling error related to variability of asbestos bodies in histologic sections.
Some individuals are particularly heavy coaters (eg, welders with a heavy lung burden of iron oxides) so that a high percentage of their commercial amphibole burden consists of asbestos bodies.
A comparative study of light to electron microscopic counts has shown a disproportionately high ratio of coated to uncoated fibers when fiber counts are low, so one cannot easily extrapolate from counts of asbestos bodies to numbers of uncoated fibers.
The microscopic diagnosis of asbestosis requires an appropriate pattern of interstitial fibrosis plus the finding of asbestos bodies.
74,101) The committee believes that bronchiolar wall fibrosis should not be referred to as asbestosis and prefers the term asbestos airways disease for bronchiolar wall fibrosis associated with asbestos bodies.