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cof·​fin ˈkȯ-fən How to pronounce coffin (audio)
: a box or chest for burying a corpse compare casket


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coffined; coffining; coffins

transitive verb

: to enclose in or as if in a coffin

Examples of coffin in a Sentence

Noun coffins are said to be the preferred sleeping places of vampires
Recent Examples on the Web
At the march in Haifa late last week, protesters carried white coffins for each of those victims thus far. Hadas Gold, CNN, 8 Sep. 2023 At a 16th-century Jewish cemetery in Lublin, iron locks were laid on shrouds, around the head of the deceased or, in the absence of a coffin, on a plank covering the corpse. Franz Lidz, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 If investors see the layoffs as another nail in a struggling company’s coffin, the stock may fall. The Motley Fool, Dallas News, 3 Sep. 2023 Thursday was the final nail in the coffin, with California and Stanford heading for the door, agreeing to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2023 The Ferryman crams the Warren home with upright coffins filled with his former victims. Vulture, 15 Sep. 2023 Mark Matthews, general manager of DFW cargo operations at American, is directing transports for airplane parts, consumer goods, fresh salmon and even empty coffins to customers from all over the world. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 13 Sep. 2023 Four years after burying Sister Wilhelmina, the order’s founder, in a simple wood coffin in a corner of the property, the sisters decided to move her body into a customary place of honor inside their church. Ruth Graham Katie Currid, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2023 The coffins signifies death to the slave master or to the overseer. Melissa Noel, Essence, 8 Sep. 2023
Princess Diana’s coffin leaving westminster abbey after the september 6, 1997 funeral. ELLE, 10 Nov. 2022 The funeral turns into a muddy, slapstick bumble, and the digger hastily buries the whole mess—king, coffin, and somebody’s busted umbrella. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2022 Its lumber held generations of Americans from cradle to coffin., 30 Aug. 2022 Stanley Cup drought could be hours from ending, the team tried to avoid the topic, keep its focus and prepare the final nail for the Flyers’ coffin. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, 6 June 2022 Galella was born in New York City on Jan. 10, 1931 to a piano and coffin manufacturer father and a mother who worked as a crochet beader. Sasha Urban, Variety, 2 May 2022 For those who want to give their fingers a more elongated shape as the leaves start to fall, coffin fall nail designs are a great option. Michella Oré, Glamour, 26 Aug. 2021 A week later, at her funeral, my sister and I stood next to her coffin the entire time. Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic, 4 Oct. 2021 Lee recommends coffin nails for those who aren't afraid of a bold look and says the trend looks amazing on slender fingers with acrylic nails. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 25 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coffin.' 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 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

First Known Use


1525, in the meaning defined above


1564, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coffin was in 1525

Dictionary Entries Near coffin

Cite this Entry

“Coffin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a box or case to hold a dead body

More from Merriam-Webster on coffin

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