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From Late Latin corporatio (assumption of a body), from Latin corporatus, past participle of corporare (to form into a body); see corporate.


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corporation (plural corporations)

  1. A body corporate, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 2, in The Mirror and the Lamp[1]:
      That the young Mr. Churchills liked—but they did not like him coming round of an evening and drinking weak whisky-and-water while he held forth on railway debentures and corporation loans. Mr. Barrett, however, by fawning and flattery, seemed to be able to make not only Mrs. Churchill but everyone else do what he desired.
  2. The municipal governing body of a borough or city.
  3. (historical) In Fascist Italy, a joint association of employers' and workers' representatives.
  4. (slang, dated, humorous) A protruding belly; a paunch.
    • 1918, Katherine Mansfield, ‘Prelude’, Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics paperback 2002, page 91:
      'You'd be surprised,' said Stanley, as though this were intensely interesting, 'at the number of chaps at the club who have got a corporation.'
    • 1974, GB Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, New York 2007, p. 316:
      He was a big chap with a corporation already, and a flat face rather like Dora's, and he had a thin black moustache.

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corporation f (plural corporations)

  1. corporation
  2. guild