cof·​fin | \ ˈkȯ-fən How to pronounce coffin (audio) \

Definition of coffin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a box or chest for burying a corpse — compare casket


coffined; coffining; coffins

Definition of coffin (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to enclose in or as if in a coffin

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for coffin

Synonyms: Noun

bier, box, casket, pall, sarcophagus

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of coffin in a Sentence


coffins are said to be the preferred sleeping places of vampires

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Apple put a final nail in the coffin of the iPad being less useful than a computer by finally, after nine years, allowing consumers to insert USB flash drives and move files back and forth. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Apple WWDC 2019: iTunes is yesterday; today's all about swifter new iOS features," 3 June 2019 For a lot of indie devs, that’d be the final nail in the coffin. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Alan Wake is back on sale after a 17 month absence, Layers of Fear 2 announced," 26 Oct. 2018 Rings culture is already looking obsolete in the KD Warriors era, but this move could put the nail in the coffin. Andrew Sharp,, "LeBron James And All His Free Agency Options," 15 June 2018 The company plans to shut down all consumer functionality of Google+, effectively putting the final nail in the coffin of a product that was launched in 2011 to challenge Facebook and is widely seen as one of Google’s biggest failures. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Why Google is shutting down Google+, Facebook’s tone-deaf camera device," 9 Oct. 2018 But Dash forward Thembi Kgatlana put the nail in the coffin in additional time. Parth Upadhyaya, Houston Chronicle, "Rachel Daly's brace carries Dash over Pride," 12 July 2018 Mountaineers and officials gathered at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu offering flowers and burning incense by the bodies, which were kept in wooden coffins. Binaj Gurubacharya, The Seattle Times, "Deaths spark calls in Nepal for better warning systems," 16 Oct. 2018 Down the 30-meter-deep shaft lie several mummies, wooden coffins and sarcophagi. Fox News, "Archaeologists in Egypt discover ancient mummification workshop," 2 Oct. 2018 The United States military has already moved coffins and American flags to Panmunjom in anticipation of receiving the remains. New York Times, "North Koreans Are No-Shows at Meeting to Discuss U.S. Soldiers’ Remains," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of coffin


1525, in the meaning defined above


1564, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coffin


Middle English cofyn, coffyn "basket, hamper" (in translations from Latin), "chest, box," borrowed from Anglo-French cofin, coffin "basket, chest, container," borrowed from Latin cophinus "large basket, hamper," borrowed from Greek kóphinos "large basket," of pre-Greek substratal origin


derivative of coffin entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coffin

Statistics for coffin

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coffin

The first known use of coffin was in 1525

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for coffin



English Language Learners Definition of coffin

: a box in which a dead person is buried


cof·​fin | \ ˈkȯ-fən How to pronounce coffin (audio) \

Kids Definition of coffin

: a box or case to hold a dead body for burial

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on coffin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coffin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coffin

Spanish Central: Translation of coffin

Nglish: Translation of coffin for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on coffin

What made you want to look up coffin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!