early 15c., "spiritual, immaterial," with -al (1) and Late Latin incorporeus "without body," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + adjective from corpus (genitive corporis) "body" (from PIE root *kwrep- "body, form, appearance"). The Old French adjective was incorporel. Glossed in Old English as lichhaemleas (see lich).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "body, form, appearance," probably a verbal root meaning "to appear."
It forms all or part of: corporal (adj.) "of or belonging to the body;" corporate; corporation; corporeal; corps; corpse; corpulence; corpulent; corpus; corpuscle; corsage; corse; corset; incorporeal; incorporate; leprechaun; midriff.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit krp- "form, body;" Avestan kerefsh "form, body;" Latin corpus "body" (living or dead); Old English hrif "belly," Old High German href "womb, belly, abdomen."
c. 1400, "spiritual, incorporeal, not consisting of matter," from Medieval Latin immaterialis "not consisting of matter, spiritual," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Late Latin materialis "of or belonging to matter" (see material (adj.)). Sense of "unimportant, of no consequence" is first recorded 1690s from material (adj.) in its meaning "important" (16c.). Related: Immaterially (late 14c.); immateriality.
mid-14c., "fact of being present, state of being in a certain place and not some other," also "space before or around someone or something," from Old French presence (12c., Modern French présence), from Latin praesentia "a being present," from praesentem (see present (adj.)).
From late 14c. as "state of being face to face with a superior or great personage." The meaning "carriage, demeanor, aspect" (especially if impressive) is from 1570s; that of "divine, spiritual, or incorporeal being felt as present" is from 1660s. Presence of mind (1660s) "calm, collected state of mind, with the faculties ready at command," is a loan-translation of French présence d'esprit, Latin praesentia animi.
also litch, lych, "body, corpse," a southern England dialectal survival of Old English lic "body, dead body, corpse," from Proto-Germanic *likow (source also of Old Frisian lik, Dutch lijk, Old High German lih, German Leiche "corpse, dead body," Old Norse lik, Danish lig, Swedish lik, Gothic leik), probably originally "form, shape," and identical with like (adj.).
Also in Old English in an expanded form lichama (Middle English licham), with hama "shape, garment, covering." This is etymologically pleonastic, but the image perhaps is of the body as the garment of the soul. The compound has a cognate in Old High German lihhinamo. A litch-gate (also lych-gate) was a roofed gate to a churchyard under which a corpse was set down at a burial to await the arrival of the minister; lich-owl "screech-owl" was so called because it was supposed to forebode death. Old English also had licburg "cemetery," lichhaemleas "incorporeal."