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

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Synonyms for coffin

Synonyms: Noun

bier, box, casket, pall, sarcophagus

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Examples of coffin in a Sentence


coffins are said to be the preferred sleeping places of vampires

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But in hailing a countercultural philosophy as the next great mainstream movement in architecture, will the exhibition also hammer a nail in its coffin? Diana Budds, Curbed, "Can hip-hop make architecture more equitable?," 8 Oct. 2018 That was the easiest of all — just laying in a coffin for a week. Lauren Daley,, "David Blaine takes a licking and keeps on tricking," 27 June 2018 Her family interred her, at her own request, in the cheapest coffin available at the upper Manhattan funeral home where her body was taken. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Searching for Myself in Alice Neel’s Radical Portraits," 26 Feb. 2019 Extravagant pies endured through the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria once served a Christmas pie so enormous four footmen were required to carry it in like a coffin. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "Where to Find London’s Premium Pies," 23 Jan. 2019 Air Force One transported Bush’s coffin from Houston on Monday, and a bicameral arrival ceremony will be held at the US Capitol at 5 pm. Rachel Withers, Vox, "George H.W. Bush’s state funeral arrangements: what we know," 3 Dec. 2018 This week, the late senator's coffin will lie in state at both the Arizona State Capitol and in the Rotunda of the U.S. State Capitol, so members of the public can pay their respects. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "John McCain Will Lie in State Over the Next Week. What Does That Mean?," 27 Aug. 2018 The coffins covered in green cloth were lined up at a memorial center and new burial pits were dug at the massive graveyard that already holds 6,575 victims found previously. Washington Post, "Bosnian Muslims to bury 35 Srebrenica massacre victims," 11 July 2018 Joseph Cirincione, the author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons, says firestorms could turn such shelters into coffins. Sharon Weinberger, Popular Mechanics, "How to Turn Your Living Room Into a Fallout Shelter," 29 Apr. 2011

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.

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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

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Statistics for coffin

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for coffin

The first known use of coffin was in 1525

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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

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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

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