Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lacking material form or substance. See Synonyms at immaterial.
  • adj. Law Of or relating to property or an asset that does not have value in material form, as a right or patent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having no material form or physical substance.
  • adj. Relating to an asset that does not have a material form; such as a patent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not corporeal; not having a material body or form; not consisting of matter; immaterial.
  • adj. Existing only in contemplation of law; not capable of actual visible seizin or possession; not being an object of sense; intangible; -- opposed to corporeal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not corporeal; not consisting of matter, or not having a material body; immaterial.
  • In law, existing in contemplation of law, and enjoyable as a right (as distinguished from that which has tangible form), as a franchise, or a right of way.
  • n. An incorporeal thing; an immaterial being.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. without material form or substance

Etymologies

Middle English incorporealle, from Latin incorporeus : in-, not; see in-1 + corporeus, consisting of a body; see corporeal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Nor does it follow from hence that spirits are nothing: for they have dimensions and are therefore really bodies; though that name in common speech be given to such bodies only as are visible or palpable; that is, that have some degree of opacity: but for spirits, they call them incorporeal, which is a name of more honour, and may therefore with more piety be attributed to God

    Leviathan

  • Furthermore, More attempted to answer materialists like Thomas Hobbes whom he perceived as an atheist on account of his dismissal of the idea of incorporeal substance as non-sensical.

    The Cambridge Platonists

  • In this way More sought to demonstrate that the idea of incorporeal substance, or spirit, was as intelligible as that of corporeal substance, i.e. body.

    The Cambridge Platonists

  • Being defined as incorporeal substances, as purely spiritual beings, angels are not thus decomposable.

    The Angels and Us

  • [59] _Stromata_, V, 12: "If, then, abstracting all that belongs to bodies and things called incorporeal, we cast ourselves into the greatness of Christ, and then advance into immensity by holiness, we may reach somehow to the conception of the Almighty, _knowing not what He is, but what He is not_."

    The Basis of Early Christian Theism

  • And then something, instinct maybe, or whatever you like to label the incorporeal look-out in our psychological crow's nest, whispered to her that it might be wise if she awoke to her surroundings.

    Leonie of the Jungle

  • Other assets, what we used to call incorporeal hereditaments back in law school -- fair workin 'knowledge of the cattle an' horse business.

    Prairie Flowers

  • If, then, we abstract all that belongs to bodies and things called incorporeal, we cast ourselves into the greatness of Christ, and thence advancing into immensity by holiness, we may reach somehow to the conception of the Almighty, knowing not what He is, but knowing what He is not.

    A Source Book for Ancient Church History

  • In all which there is no colour at all for the burning of incorporeal, that is to say, impatible souls.

    Leviathan, or, The matter, forme, & power of a common-wealth ecclesiasticall and civill

  • Nor does it follow from hence that spirits are nothing: for they have dimensions and are therefore really bodies; though that name in common speech be given to such bodies only as are visible or palpable; that is, that have some degree of opacity: but for spirits, they call them incorporeal, which is a name of more honour, and may therefore with more piety be attributed to God Himself; in whom we consider not what attribute expresseth best His nature, which is incomprehensible, but what best expresseth our desire to honour Him.

    Leviathan, or, The matter, forme, & power of a common-wealth ecclesiasticall and civill

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