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Cor"po*ral (kr"p-ral), n. Etym: [Corrupted fr. F. caporal, It. caporale, fr. capo head, chief, L. caput. See Chief, and cf. Caporal.] (Mil.)

Defn: A noncommissioned officer, next below a sergeant. In the United States army he is the lowest noncomissioned officer in a company of infantry. He places and relieves sentinels. Corporal's guard, a detachment such as would be in charge of a corporal for guard duty, etc.; hence, derisively, a very small number of persons.

-- Lance corporal, an assistant corporal on private's pay. Farrow.
-- Ship's corporal (Naut.), a petty officer who assists the master

at arms in his various duties.

corporal Cor"po*ral, a. Etym: [L. corporalis, fr. corpus body. See Corpse.]

1. Belonging or relating to the body; bodily. "Past corporal toil." Shak. Pillories and other corporal infections. Milton. Corporal punishment (law), punishment applied to the body of the offender, including the death penalty, whipping, and imprisonment.

2. Having a body or substance; not spiritual; material. In this sense now usually written corporeal. Milton. A corporal heaven . . . .where the stare are. Latimer. What seemed corporal melted As breath into the wind. Shak.


-- Corporal, Bodily, Corporeal. Bodily is opposed to mental; as,

bodily affections. Corporeal refers to the whole physical structure or nature, of the body; as, corporeal substance or frame. Corporal, as now used, refers more to punishment or some infliction; as, corporal punishment. To speak of corporeal punishment is an error. Bodily austerities; the corporeal mold.

corporal; corporale Cor"po*ral (kr"p-ral), Cor`po*ra"le (-r"l), n. Etym: [LL. corporale: cf.F. corporal. See Corporal,a.]

Defn: A fine linen cloth, on which the sacred elements are consecrated in the eucharist, or with which they are covered; a communion cloth. Corporal oath, a solemn oath; -- so called from the fact that it was the ancient usage for the party taking it to touch the corporal, or cloth that covered the consecrated elements.

The corporal is a linen that is spread out underneath the chalice and paten. When not in use, it is folded into one-ninth its original size and placed in a burse (when available). If an embroidered cross is present on the corporal, the side with the cross is placed bordering the edge of the altar, as the paten will be laid on top of the cross.

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