body (n.)

Old English bodig "trunk of a man or beast, physical structure of a human or animal; material frame, material existence of a human; main or principal part of anything," related to Old High German botah, but otherwise of unknown origin. Not elsewhere in Germanic, and the word has died out in German (replaced by Leib, originally "life," and Körper, from Latin), "but in English body remains as a great and important word" [OED].

Extension to "a person, a human being" is from c. 1300. Meaning "main part" of anything was in late Old English, hence its use in reference to vehicles (1520s). From 1580s as "part of the dress which covers the body." From 1590s as "main part of a group, any number of individuals spoken of collectively." From 1660s as "main portion of a document." Contrasted with soul at least since mid-13c. Meaning "corpse" ("dead body") is from c. 1200. Transferred to matter generally in Middle English (as in heavenly body, late 14c.).

Body politic "the nation, the state, whole body of people living under an organized government" first recorded late 15c., with French word order. Body image was coined 1934. Body count "number of enemy killed in battle or otherwise" is from 1968, from the Vietnam War. Body language is attested from 1967, perhaps from French langage corporel (1966). Body-snatcher "one who secretly disinters the bodies of the recently dead for dissection" is from 1834. Phrase over my dead body attested by 1833.

Definitions of body
body (n.)
the entire physical structure of an organism (an animal, plant, or human being);
he felt as if his whole body were on fire
Synonyms: organic structure
body (n.)
a group of persons associated by some common tie or occupation and regarded as an entity;
the student body
administrative body
the whole body filed out of the auditorium
body (n.)
a natural object consisting of a dead animal or person;
they found the body in the lake
Synonyms: dead body
body (n.)
an individual 3-dimensional object that has mass and that is distinguishable from other objects;
heavenly body
body (n.)
the body excluding the head and neck and limbs;
Synonyms: torso / trunk
body (n.)
a collection of particulars considered as a system;
a body of law
a body of doctrine
a body of precedents
body (n.)
the property of holding together and retaining its shape;
wool has more body than rayon
body (n.)
the central message of a communication;
the body of the message was short
body (n.)
the main mass of a thing;
body (n.)
a resonating chamber in a musical instrument (as the body of a violin);
Synonyms: soundbox
body (n.)
the external structure of a vehicle;
the body of the car was badly rusted
body (v.)
invest with or as with a body; give body to;
Synonyms: personify