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chrysalis

play
noun chrys·a·lis \ˈkri-sə-ləs\

Simple Definition of chrysalis

  • : 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

Full Definition of chrysalis

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

  1. 1 a :  a pupa of a butterfly; broadly :  an insect pupa b :  the hardened outer protective layer of a pupa

  2. 2 :  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

Origin 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



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