Can 体 (karada) and 肉体 (nikutai) be used interchangeably or is there a difference?


I would not use the two words interchangeably. If you are unsure of the correct context, it might be better to default to 体{からだ}.

体 is a noun used generally to describe the body as an object. Using 体 is a lot more common in everyday usage.

肉体{にくたい} also means body but referring to the underlying flesh/blood/bones in a more vivid way.

肉体労働{にくたいろうどう}をする。 "To do manual/physical labor" is a phrase where 肉体 might be commonly used.

肉体関係{にくたいかんけい} means "physical or sexual relationship."


Now I ain't a expert, but 体 refers to the concept of a body in a vary broad sense while 肉体 refers to a body as in a body of meat, being more specific due to the 肉.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.