co·​coon | \ kə-ˈkün How to pronounce cocoon (audio) \

Definition of cocoon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an envelope often largely of silk which an insect larva forms about itself and in which it passes the pupa stage
b : any of various other protective coverings produced by animals
2a : something suggesting a cocoon especially in providing protection or in producing isolation wrapped in a cocoon of blankets an interest in the world beyond the everyday cocoon most of us construct— Peter Mayle
b : a protective covering placed or sprayed over military or naval equipment in storage


cocooned; cocooning; cocoons

Definition of cocoon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to wrap or envelop in or as if in a cocoon

Did you know?

Since at least the late 1600s, English speakers have been using the noun cocoon for the silky covering that surrounds a caterpillar or other insect larva in the pupa stage of metamorphosis. The word derives, via French cocon, from Occitan coucoun, which, in turn, emerged from coco, an Occitan term for "shell." Linguists believe the Occitan term was probably born of the Latin word coccum, a noun that has been translated as kermes, which refers to the dried bodies of some insects that are sometimes found on certain trees. The verb cocoon has been with us since the latter half of the 19th century.

Examples of cocoon in a Sentence

Noun The child was wrapped in a cocoon of blankets. The movie star was surrounded by a protective cocoon of bodyguards. Verb Americans are spending more time cocooning at home in recent years. cocooned in puffy down parkas, we braved the bitter cold as best we could
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But what’s even more tone deaf, Félix argues, is that these new residents skip through Mexico in a mobile cocoon that largely protects them from the real world around them. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2022 Maayan Kitron hands me a weird-looking yellow fruit wrapped in a cocoon. Sun Sentinel, 20 July 2022 Each shop will be filled with virtual fashion pieces (one standout: a structural, Rei Kawakubo-esque dress-cocoon and floating crown) that players can purchase. André-naquian Wheeler, Vogue, 12 July 2022 It’s the ultimate Cote d 'Azur cocoon with history, tradition and - above all - a sense of space. Sarah Turner, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Then — much like stuffing a raw egg into a cocoon of bubble-wrap and cotton balls during an egg-drop experiment — the lander deployed a giant system of airbags to cushion the blow. Meghan Willcoxon, Journal Sentinel, 1 July 2022 No one gets deeper into the hitting cocoon than Votto does. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 29 June 2022 Four-season tents use nylon fabric instead of mesh to seal in warmth and prevent drafts and drifting snow from seeping into the interior cocoon. Ryan Stuart, Outside Online, 9 Mar. 2020 In this one designed by deVol Kitchens, the blush pink cocoon is both bold and simple. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 22 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For a serene and minimalist office, Gemma Parker Design opted to cocoon the walls in Shoji screen details. Marisa Martin, Good Housekeeping, 31 May 2022 Epara, founded by Ozohu Adoh, means to cocoon oneself in the Nigerian dialect Ebira. Vogue, 10 Mar. 2022 Another White House inflation excuse: Demand for goods has surged during the pandemic as people cocoon and reduce spending on services. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 10 Dec. 2021 While case rates remain high, reinforcing protections against infection and transmission could cocoon the still-vulnerable, and tamp down outbreaks. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 8 Dec. 2021 But the really different part is the door, which slides gently backwards to cocoon you away from the cabin. John Walton, CNN, 4 Oct. 2021 After a day on the water, retreat to your room’s balcony and cocoon yourself in the hammock. Brittany Anas, Forbes, 28 Aug. 2021 SoCal gardeners readily added the plants to their yards to help the butterflies and get a front-row seat to the wonder of metamorphosis, from tiny egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2021 Biden made Putin seem powerful, facing down an external enemy, instead of trying to cocoon himself from the pandemic., 28 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cocoon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cocoon


1699, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cocoon


French cocon, from Occitan coucoun, from coco shell, probably ultimately from Latin coccum kermes (thought to be a gall or berry), from Greek kokkos berry, kermes

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coconut water



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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cocoon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cocoon


co·​coon | \ kə-ˈkün How to pronounce cocoon (audio) \

Kids Definition of cocoon

: the silky covering which a moth caterpillar makes around itself and in which it is protected while changing into a moth

More from Merriam-Webster on cocoon

Nglish: Translation of cocoon for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cocoon


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