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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 ?
County Health Executive Mohammed Dagane yesterday said they are concerned that nobody has either identified or collected any of the bodies.
"AlloDerm is a miraculous substance,' says Maryland plastic surgeon Mark Richards, "given its universal acceptance into the human body." Doctors have found that human bodies are far less likely to reject AlloDerm than previous skin substitutes.
He mentioned that whatever nature divides stays in it endlessly in actuality, and that bodies are composed of compounded finite parts.
This issue of the International Journal of Men's Health focuses on the emerging area of research on men and their bodies. Increasingly, academics are researching and writing about men's bodies from a variety of perspectives.
We perhaps are aware of it only rarely, but on thinking about it we realize the important part that our bodies play in our observance of the Eucharist and of the other Sacraments.
Again far from the truth, because what the public does not understand is that all that chiropractic is good for is to remove the nerve interference from our bodies, which then restores the proper communication lines between our brain and the rest of us.
Generally, cold and swiftly moving water preserves bodies, whereas heavy clothing and stagnant, warm water hasten decomposition.
While further attention to the contingencies of race might have helped to deepen the study's assessment of technologies "that people voluntarily put in contact with their bodies" (p.
In contrast, the participants were 81 percent accurate in their quick reads of angry faces shown without bodies.
I doubt that there are many Catholics who do not find something amiss in our culture's fixation on sexuality and in its dissatisfaction with our mortal, imperfect, and inevitably aging bodies. Even I find myself wishing for thinner thighs and noticing with regret my wrinkles and white hairs while I write about the beauty of our bodies.
Farrington's essay on Ringgold, for example, is enriched not only by Collins's broader account of the female Black nude in art history but also by Williams's discussion of the photographic representation of Black women's bodies. Moreover, by electing not to arrange the essays in this section in strict chronological order, Wallace-Sanders creates a reading experience in which the essays thread back and forth between periods, exploring ideas that overlap rather than simply bump up against one another.
Strait: A short, narrow channel of water that connects two larger bodies of water.