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

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Examples of coffin in a Sentence

Noun coffins are said to be the preferred sleeping places of vampires
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The great TomorrowWorld disaster (2015) TomorrowWorld, the short-lived American venture of Belgian mega-festival Tomorrowland, hammered the final nail in its coffin in 2015. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The Top 100 Moments of the EDM Decade," 17 Dec. 2019 One example in the documentary is how the Enquirer handsomely paid Elvis Presley’s cousin to snap a picture of the rock star in his coffin. Jessica Klein, Fortune, "A New Documentary About the National Enquirer Aims to Serve as a Cautionary Tale," 14 Nov. 2019 About 6,000 people are estimated to be buried on the four acre plot, their coffins stacked on top of one another at Hartford’s oldest cemetery, which is located near the corner of Main and Gold streets in Hartford. Amanda Blanco,, "A new project reveals the hidden history of colonial people of color who are buried in downtown Hartford," 6 Sep. 2019 The tradition goes back thousands of years: carve out your own coffin, die, and get hoisted up next to your ancestors. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 As if the world doesn’t already have a backwards, antiquated view of our city, the producers decided to put the nail in our coffin. Birmingham Magazine, al, "Birmingham magazine’s Best and Worst of Birmingham," 3 Sep. 2019 Shannon built his own coffin, for instance, and held a life-celebration party for himself. Annika Neklason, The Atlantic, "HBO’s New Documentary Asks You to Talk About Death," 20 Aug. 2019 Atletico's decision to remove Rodri's number 14 jersey from him may well be the final nail in his Wanda Metropolitano coffin, with manager Diego Simeone now seemingly resigned to losing the 22-year-old., "Atletico Madrid Drop Huge Rodri Exit Hint at Unveiling of Marcos Llorente," 28 June 2019 President Ghani joined Afghan National Security soldiers in carrying the Nakamura’s coffin draped in an Afghan flag to the awaiting aircraft. Washington Post, "Afghanistan bids farewell to slain Japanese physician," 7 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for coffin

Time Traveler

The first known use of coffin was in 1525

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Statistics for coffin

Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coffin.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for coffin


How to pronounce coffin (audio)

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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Comments on coffin

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