1

cocoon

noun co·coon \ kə-ˈkün \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of cocoon

1 a : 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
2 a : 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

cocoon was our Word of the Day on 07/30/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of cocoon in a Sentence

  1. The child was wrapped in a cocoon of blankets.

  2. The movie star was surrounded by a protective cocoon of bodyguards.

Recent Examples of cocoon from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Other Insect Terms


2

cocoon

verb

Definition of cocoon

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

Examples of cocoon in a Sentence

  1. Americans are spending more time cocooning at home in recent years.

  2. cocooned in puffy down parkas, we braved the bitter cold as best we could

Recent Examples of cocoon from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

Since at least 1679, 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 came into English from French, which in turn borrowed it from an Occitan term for "eggshell." Linguists believe the Occitan term was probably born of the Latin coccum, a noun that has been translated as "kermes," the dried bodies of some insects that can be found on certain trees. The verb "cocoon" has been with us since at least 1881.

First Known Use of cocoon

1881


COCOON Defined for English Language Learners

cocoon

noun

Definition of cocoon for English Language Learners

  • : a covering usually made of silk which some insects (such as caterpillars) make around themselves to protect them while they grow

  • : something that covers or protects a person or thing


cocoon

verb

Definition of cocoon for English Language Learners

  • : to cover or protect (someone or something) completely

  • : to spend time at home instead of going out for other activities


COCOON Defined for Kids

cocoon

noun co·coon \ kə-ˈkün \

Definition of cocoon for Students

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


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