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cof·​fer ˈkȯ-fər How to pronounce coffer (audio)
: chest
Among the items at the auction was an 18th-century oak coffer.
especially : strongbox
put the money in the coffer
: treasury, funds
usually used in plural
… public coffers running dry in a bleak economy …Vivienne Walt and Roya Wolverson
corporate coffers
: a recessed panel in a vault, ceiling, or soffit
ceiling coffers


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coffered; coffering; coffers

transitive verb

: to store or hoard up in a coffer
coffered his military memorabilia
: to form (something, such as a ceiling) with recessed panels
A ceiling that is coffered will bring an added dimension to a large room.

Examples of coffer in a Sentence

Noun kept the jewels in a locked coffer let me see what's in the household coffers and I'll get back to you about making a donation
Recent Examples on the Web
Under that mechanism, new property tax revenue that would normally go toward the coffers of the city, facing a $66 million budget deficit, is redirected toward helping the developer fund the project — paying for infrastructure such as roads, stormwater and sewer improvements. Theresa Clift, Sacramento Bee, 31 May 2024 On Thursday, Thao promised other revenue boosts that could help out the city’s coffers, including incentivizing future television and movie productions to filmed in Oakland. Shomik Mukherjee, The Mercury News, 23 May 2024
State revenues generated by taxing slot machines at casinos go into a few buckets, including a racetrack renewal fund, an account that boosts racing purses, as well as Baltimore City coffers. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 19 Mar. 2024 Widely considered a future presidential candidate, Newsom has demurred while spending his campaign coffers across the nation, trolling Republicans and backing Democratic candidates. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for coffer 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coffer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English cofre, coffre, borrowed from Anglo-French, altered (with n to r) from Latin cophinus "large basket, hamper" (sense "chest" attested in early Medieval Latin), borrowed from Greek kóphinos "large basket" — more at coffin entry 1


Middle English cofren, derivative of cofre coffer entry 1

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of coffer was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near coffer

Cite this Entry

“Coffer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a box used especially to store money and valuables
: treasury sense 1, funds
usually used in plural

More from Merriam-Webster on coffer

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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