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corpus delicti n
[New Latin, literally, the body of the offense]
: the substance of a crime that the prosecutor must prove and that consists of an injury or loss (as death of a victim or disappearance of property) and the criminal act that resulted in it
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.