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Related to body: body language, body shop, human body


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 classic literature ?
He took up all my clothes in his pastern, one piece after another, and examined them diligently; he then stroked my body very gently, and looked round me several times; after which, he said, it was plain I must be a perfect YAHOO; but that I differed very much from the rest of my species in the softness, whiteness, and smoothness of my skin; my want of hair in several parts of my body; the shape and shortness of my claws behind and before; and my affectation of walking continually on my two hinder feet.
There he nearly fell over the body of the hunchback, and without knowing what it was gave it such a kick that it rolled right to the bottom, and very nearly dragged the doctor after it.
And it must be noted that I say of our reason, and not of our imagination or of our senses: thus, for example, although we very clearly see the sun, we ought not therefore to determine that it is only of the size which our sense of sight presents; and we may very distinctly imagine the head of a lion joined to the body of a goat, without being therefore shut up to the conclusion that a chimaera exists; for it is not a dictate of reason that what we thus see or imagine is in reality existent; but it plainly tells us that all our ideas or notions contain in them some truth; for otherwise it could not be that God, who is wholly perfect and veracious, should have placed them in us.
A SECOND objection to the Senate, as a court of impeachments, is, that it contributes to an undue accumulation of power in that body, tending to give to the government a countenance too aristocratic.
If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.
It was the one little opening that Dak Kova needed, and hurling himself at the body of his adversary he buried his single mighty tusk in Bar Comas' groin and with a last powerful effort ripped the young jeddak wide open the full length of his body, the great tusk finally wedging in the bones of Bar Comas' jaw.
I took half-a-dozen steps, picked up the blood-stained whip that lay beneath the body of the Wolf-man, and cracked it.
As it dawned upon me first, it presented a sort of metallic spider with five jointed, agile legs, and with an extraordinary number of jointed levers, bars, and reaching and clutching tentacles about its body.
For instance, 'white' being present in a body is predicated of that in which it is present, for a body is called white: the definition, however, of the colour white' is never predicable of the body.
But the son of Panthous had also noted the body, and came up to Menelaus saying, "Menelaus, son of Atreus, draw back, leave the body, and let the bloodstained spoils be.
For those diets alter the body more, and trouble it less.
Every living thing in the first place is composed of soul and body, of these the one is by nature the governor, the other the governed; now if we would know what is natural, we ought to search for it in those subjects in which nature appears most perfect, and not in those which are corrupted; we should therefore examine into a man who is most perfectly formed both in soul and body, in whom this is evident, for in the depraved and vicious the body seems [1254b] to rule rather than the soul, on account of their being corrupt and contrary to nature.