chrysalis

play
noun chrys·a·lis \ ˈkri-sə-ləs \

Definition of chrysalis

plural chrysalides play \kri-ˈsa-lə-ˌdēz\ or chrysalises
1 a :a pupa of a butterfly; broadly :an insect pupa
b :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

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.

Illustration of chrysalis

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

Other Insect Terms


CHRYSALIS Defined for English Language Learners

chrysalis

play
noun

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

chrysalis

play
noun chrys·a·lis \ ˈkris-ə-ləs \

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

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