Corpus Delicti Definition

The facts constituting or proving a crime; material substance or foundation of a crime: the corpus delicti in a murder case is not just the body of the victim, but the fact that the victim has been murdered.
Webster's New World
The corroborating evidence that shows that a crime has been committed, other than a confession or an alleged accomplice's statement.
American Heritage
The body of the victim in a murder case.
Webster's New World
A corpse.
American Heritage
The body of the crime. The objective evidence that there has been an injury (physical or otherwise) or loss and that it was caused by the criminal act of some person or thing.
Webster's New World Law

Other Word Forms of Corpus Delicti


corpus delicti
corpora delicti

Origin of Corpus Delicti

  • New Latin corpus dēlictī Latin corpus body, collection of facts Latin dēlictī genitive of dēlictum crime

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From New Latin, from Latin corpus (“body”) dēlictī (“of crime”).

    From Wiktionary

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corpus delicti