cof·​fer | \ ˈkȯ-fər How to pronounce coffer (audio) , ˈkä- \

Definition of coffer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : chest Among the items at the auction was an 18th-century oak coffer. especially : strongbox put the money in the coffer
2 : treasury, funds usually used in plural … public coffers running dry in a bleak economy …— Vivienne Walt and Roya Wolversoncorporate coffers
3 : a recessed panel in a vault, ceiling, or soffit ceiling coffers


coffered; coffering; coffers

Definition of coffer (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Synonyms for coffer

Synonyms: Noun

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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: Noun Ainge was a master at keeping the Celtics’ coffer of draft picks jam-packed., 7 June 2021 An anonymous donor kicked in another $50,000, and a growing group of Orange County businesspeople — including Bill Skeffington of Watson’s Soda Fountain and Cafe in Orange — have added to the coffer. Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2021 Spending on police claimed about 10% of the general fund coffer during the past few years. Megan Cassidy,, 13 June 2020 For 2018-2019, the U.S. voluntarily added some $656 million to the WHO’s coffers, nearly twice as much as any other country. Elijah Wolfson, Time, 4 June 2020 Fewer fill-ups means fewer gas tax dollars flowing to state and federal coffers. Tom Benning, Dallas News, 27 May 2020 Fans texting in donations added to the charity coffers. Steve Dimeglio, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2020 The levy would have continued to bring $10.6 million annually to district coffers without raising taxes., 30 Apr. 2020 Trial lawyers have long been significant contributors to Democratic Party coffers. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, 24 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Past a grey façade of stucco and concrete, the traditional-style home opens to 4,314 square feet of formal living spaces with dark hardwood floors, coffered ceilings and wainscoting. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2019 Must-see rooms include the family room, with its coffered ceiling, hardwood floors, and fireplace-- one of five in the house. cleveland, 3 Apr. 2020 Among the luxury features: golf course lots, coffered ceilings and a waterfall spa. Ebony Day, azcentral, 3 Feb. 2020 The 5,643-square-foot house has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and comes with a front courtyard, coffered ceilings and wide-plank white oak flooring. Ebony Day, azcentral, 20 Jan. 2020 The home has about 6,800 square feet of living space, coffered ceilings, four bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2019 The ceilings are bolstered by beams of palm and eucalyptus, or geometrically coffered with wood strips in a traditional south Moroccan technique called tataoui or in one room gaily painted in the colorful Berber style. Joshua Levine, WSJ, 13 Aug. 2018 Features include Carrara marble floors, a gourmet kitchen, a formal dining room and coffered ceilings. Robyn A. Friedman,, 24 Oct. 2019 Past a grey façade of stucco and concrete, the traditional-style home opens to 4,314 square feet of formal living spaces with dark hardwood floors, coffered ceilings and wainscoting. Jack Flemming, Daily Pilot, 11 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coffer.' 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 coffer


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coffer


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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Coffer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for coffer



English Language Learners Definition of coffer

: a box for holding money or other valuable things
: money that is available for spending


cof·​fer | \ ˈkȯ-fər How to pronounce coffer (audio) \

Kids Definition of coffer

: a box used especially for holding money and valuables

More from Merriam-Webster on coffer

Nglish: Translation of coffer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coffer for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about coffer


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