noun chrys·a·lis \ˈkri-sə-ləs\

: a moth or butterfly at the stage of growth when it is turning into an adult and is enclosed in a hard case

: a hard case that protects a moth or butterfly while it is turning into an adult

plural chry·sal·i·des \kri-ˈsa-lə-ˌdēz\ or chrys·a·lis·es

Full Definition of CHRYSALIS

a :  a pupa of a butterfly; broadly :  an insect pupa
b :  the hardened outer protective layer of a pupa
:  a protecting covering :  a sheltered state or stage of being or growth <a budding writer could not emerge from his chrysalis too soon — William Du Bois>

Illustration of CHRYSALIS


Latin chrysallid-, chrysallis gold-colored pupa of butterflies, from Greek, from chrysos gold, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew ḥārūṣ gold
First Known Use: 1601

Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine


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March 30, 2015
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