1. Of, relating to, or belonging to the body.
2. Physical as opposed to mental or spiritual: bodily welfare.
1. In the flesh; in person: bodily but not mentally present.
2. As a complete physical entity: carried the child bodily from the room.
Synonyms: bodily, physical, corporal1, corporeal, fleshly
These adjectives relate to the body, especially the human body. Bodily and physical are the most common and have the widest range of usage. Though often interchangeable (bodily injury; physical pain), bodily tends to emphasize the inner workings (bodily functions; bodily fluids; bodily rhythms), while physical is more often associated with externalities such as condition, appearance, or activity (physical exercise; physical beauty; physical violence). Corporal and corporeal share a narrower range of association in which the body is often viewed as a material object distinct from the mind or spirit: corporal punishment; corporeal existence. Fleshly can suggest either corpulence or sensuality: "pear-shaped figures ... with their fleshly emphasis on thighs and buttocks" (Natalie Angier). "These videos treated of strong human passions, including the fleshly ones" (Christopher Miller).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.