corpus delicti


corpus delicti
corpus delicti
means literally ‘the body of a crime’, and refers to all the facts and circumstances that together constitute a breach of the law. In lay use, it means the concrete evidence of a crime, especially the body of a murdered person.

• ‘Well, where is the corpus delicti, old chap?’ The ritual began —W. J. Burley, 1991.


Modern English usage. 2014.