Definition of chrysalis
chrysalidesplay \kri-ˈsa-lə-ˌdēz\ or
1a : a pupa of a butterfly; broadly : an insect pupab : the hardened outer protective layer of a pupa
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
Recent Examples of chrysalis from the Web
There’s a flimsy garbage can-sized cage at the front of the room with chrysalises, transitioning from caterpillars into butterflies.
Schwartz eventually left the organization in the hands of nonprofit professionals — Footsteps was a chrysalis for her, too — and went to law school.
Caterpillars eat the seeds, adults eat the nectar, females lay their eggs on the flowers in the summer, and the chrysalises nestle beneath the buckwheat in the winter.
The staff around knew their stuff and were happy to take some time to explain the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis and all about the wonder of metamorphosis.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chrysalis'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology 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: 1601See Words from the same year
CHRYSALIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of chrysalis for English Language Learners
: 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
CHRYSALIS Defined for Kids
Definition of chrysalis for Students
1 : a moth or butterfly pupa that is enclosed in a hardened protective case
2 : the hardened protective case made by and enclosing a moth or butterfly pupa
Seen and Heard
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