chrysalis

noun
chrys·​a·​lis | \ ˈkri-sə-ləs How to pronounce chrysalis (audio) \
plural chrysalides\ kri-​ˈsa-​lə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce chrysalides (audio) \ or chrysalises

Definition of chrysalis

1a : a pupa of a butterfly broadly : an insect pupa
b : the hardened outer protective layer of a pupa
2 : a protecting covering also : 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

Illustration of chrysalis

chrysalis 1

Examples of chrysalis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Eventually, these signals determine the identity and position of each wing scale, which develop colorless in the chrysalis at first before pigments get made. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian, "What butterflies’ Colorful Wing Patterns Can Teach Us About Evolution," 18 Nov. 2019 And did Hawley have to take his eloquent first-act chrysalis-and-butterfly motif and beat it into such a blunt metaphor? BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 10 Oct. 2019 Like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, the story unfurls in surprising ways. oregonlive, "‘The Butterfly Girl’ offers hope for lives that seem hopelessly broken," 26 Sep. 2019 Hand-raising monarch butterflies in the midst of a global extinction crisis, Laura Moore and her neighbors gather round in her suburban Maryland yard to launch a butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis. Washington Post, "As monarch butterfly struggles, the government weakens possible protections," 15 Aug. 2019 Hand-raising monarch butterflies in the midst of a global extinction crisis, Laura Moore and her neighbors gather round in her suburban Maryland yard to launch a butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis. Washington Post, "As monarch butterfly struggles, the government weakens possible protections," 15 Aug. 2019 Hand-raising monarch butterflies in the midst of a global extinction crisis, Laura Moore and her neighbors gather round in her suburban Maryland yard to launch a butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis. Washington Post, "As monarch butterfly struggles, the government weakens possible protections," 15 Aug. 2019 Hand-raising monarch butterflies in the midst of a global extinction crisis, Laura Moore and her neighbors gather round in her suburban Maryland yard to launch a butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis. Washington Post, "As monarch butterfly struggles, the government weakens possible protections," 15 Aug. 2019 His chrysalis is as brown as the stick itself, oddly shaped with a point on the tip. Lois Szymanski, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Szymanski: The miracle of metamorphosis another of Mother Nature’s lessons," 1 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of chrysalis

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for chrysalis

borrowed from Latin chrȳsallid-, chrȳsallis, borrowed from Greek chrȳsallid-, chrȳsallís, from chrȳsós "gold" (referring to the metallic gold-like sheen of some butterfly pupae) + -allid-, -allis, noun suffix of some plant and animal names — more at chryso-

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Time Traveler for chrysalis

Time Traveler

The first known use of chrysalis was in 1601

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Statistics for chrysalis

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Chrysalis.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chrysalis. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for chrysalis

chrysalis

noun
How to pronounce chrysalis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chrysalis

biology
: 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

noun
chrys·​a·​lis | \ ˈkris-ə-ləs How to pronounce chrysalis (audio) \

Kids Definition of chrysalis

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on chrysalis

Spanish Central: Translation of chrysalis

Nglish: Translation of chrysalis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chrysalis

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