Definition: A body is a combination or a synthesis of elements that is ultimately identified as one thing (i.e. an entity). That body/entity may or may not be a living thing.
The body of any living thing/entity is a combination of external and internal things. The external body is composed of material elements such as earth, water, fire, air and space (form). The body we know best is the human body.
The internal body is more subtle. This subtle body may be identified as a psychological body or a spiritual body. It is composed of mind, intelligence and identification [ego]. The mind has conscious, semi-conscious and unconscious engagements with the aforesaid physical or external body.
There is “body” that is not a living entity but is derived from a living entity and may or may not be accepted/embraced by other living entities. For example: a body of knowledge is a composite of concepts, understandings, ideas, ideologies, philosophies, beliefs etc. or one or more combinations of these.
A “Body of Evidence” in a Law Case is bundle of evidence. And when such a body of knowledge is perceived, reflected upon and meaning given and/or derived from by a living entity, then this engagement/activity is called Phenomenology of perception.
There is “body” that is not a living entity or thing in itself but as part of its composite it may or may not contain living entities/things. For example: the ocean is a body of water or “waterbody” A galaxy is a body of stars, planets etc. The universe is a body of galaxies (see: http://sci.esa.int/education/35696-introduction-to-the-universe/?fbodylongid=1682).
There is a body of people. A body of people may be called (i) “a group of people”; or (ii) “a community of people” or (iii) “Society”. A body of people may also be called a “group”. A community of people may be composed of one or more group(s) of people. A community may be identified as a body of people or groups of people living in the same place or something in common. Generally these are agreed sets of valued, morals, laws, culture or subculture.
There is a body of art (ie a collection of art works or artistic types or combination of art works/types). These can include a body Literature or a body of Fine Art.
A body of Literature can include written works relating to China for example. And among Chinese literature there can be a body of written works relating to Chinese language, Chinese philosophy or culture etc. An example of a body of written works of Chinese philosophy and culture is the Four books (四書: (i) 大學 (ii) 中庸 (iii) 論語 and (iv) 孟子 relating to Confucius (孔子 or 孔夫子 – 551 BCE–479 BCE) these are described at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Books_and_Five_Classics
A body of Fine Art can be a collection of art of a particular style of art works. For example the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghi holds a body of contemporary fine art. Some of these are displayed on their website, here is the link http://www.mocashanghai.org/
There is also “Body Art”. This is defined here as:
“An artistic practice or style of the 1960s and 1970s developing from conceptual art and performance art and utilizing the artist’s body as both the subject and object in such experimentation as decoration, waxcasts, and even mutilation” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/body+art refers)