Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


Lacking a physical or material nature but relating to or affecting a body.

Under Common Law, incorporeal property were rights that affected a tangible item, such as a chose in action (a right to enforce a debt).

Incorporeal is the opposite of corporeal, a description of the existence of a tangible item.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


adj. referring to a thing which is not physical, such as a right. This is distinguished from tangible.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


that which has no corpus, or body, so cannot be touched.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

INCORPOREAL. Not consisting of matter.
     2. Things incorporeal. are those which are not the object of sense, which cannot be seen or felt, but which we can easily, conceive in the understanding, as rights, actions, successions, easements, and the like. Dig. lib. 6, t. 1; Id. lib. 41, t. 1, l. 43, Sec. 1; Poth. Traite des Choses, Sec. 2.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
But it is also an example of historic and contemporary Coast Salish longhouse practice in which speakers state their understandings of rights to incorporeal properties such as ancestral names and songs, and corporeal properties such as land or the right to use particular resource stations.
vii) and from the very beginning, she is skeptical of the myth of the almost incorporeal genius who creates theories and science in radical isolation.
'Property' is defined widely and means, 'assets of every kind, whether corporeal or incorporeal, moveable or immoveable, and legal documents or instruments evidencing title to those assets or any rights related thereto'.
Hermione's uncertain state between living and dead allows Kellett to explore the blazon through an incorporeal body.
Deleuze opts for neither a simple becoming of depth nor that of the surface (incorporeal events), but moves between them (3).
God is supreme, independent of nature, and incorporeal. The concept of a "rest" is dependent on our experience with human or animal bodies, or even with that of an earth that yields produce.
Jesus also shows Pilate that he can escape if he wants: "Pilate, then, looked at Jesus and, behold, he became incorporeal: He did not see him for a long time ..."
Deleuze and Guattari make this link explicit in A Thousand Plateaus in the connection they draw between 'orderwords', or 'the relation of every word or every statement to implicit presuppositions, in other words, to speech acts that are, and can only be, accomplished in the statement,' and incorporeal transformations, or, the speculative, transformational attributes that order-words express (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, p.
This may arise from the increase of voices that dwell in the same body, from incorporeal singing, from the integration of singing voice, from the separation between voice and character.
In the earliest phase, i.e., from his earliest thoughts to the late 1670s, Leibniz is identified as an 'heterodox Hobbesian' whose metaphysics combined a standard mechanical philosophy of bodies with a commitment to incorporeal things responsible for motion in the world, i.e., non-extended minds distinct from extended bodies characterized in terms of shape, size, and motion.