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 An officer folded a white and green flag that hugged Officer Echeverria’s black coffin during the service and then handed it to his sobbing widow. Edgar Sandoval, New York Times, "She Begged Them to Take Away His Police Handgun. He Died Anyway.," 16 Sep. 2019 The driver of the vehicle, who was pulled over on a road headed to Cúcuta, had been asked to open the coffin so officers could look over its contents. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "Colombian police find more than 650 pounds of marijuana hidden inside coffin," 30 Aug. 2019 And then both sides saluted the Afghan flag as the coffins went by. Dan Lamothe, Anchorage Daily News, "How a McCain came home from war to mourn his famous father," 23 Aug. 2019 At the moment, those who have become infected, seeing others go into clinics alive only to leave in coffins, are understandably reluctant to follow suit. The Economist, "Two treatments for Ebola emerge from a clinical trial in Africa," 15 Aug. 2019 Modern burial typically involves chemically embalming bodies and burying them inside sturdy coffins surrounded by concrete. Jasmine Johnson, Twin Cities, "‘Everything is biodegradable, including you.’ A Catholic cemetery in Mendota Heights offers green burial.," 20 July 2019 In the following centuries, morbid curio hunters were nevertheless able to access the humble wooden box that served as Adie’s coffin and pilfer her bones. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Wanted: The Missing Bones of a Scottish ‘Witch’," 3 Sep. 2019 Thursday's pink and white balloons gave way to Saturday's pink and white roses, arranged in a pile atop Emma's white coffin and delicately decorating the casket's plush lining. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit community mourns and remembers Emma Hernandez, 9, at funeral," 24 Aug. 2019 Check out our list of Oregon’s most unconventional homes, from coffins and castles to hobbit huts and airplane homes., "Flash-bang lawsuit; Court appearance for woman accused of killing brother: Morning Briefing for Tuesday, Aug. 6," 6 Aug. 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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Statistics for coffin

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for coffin

The first known use of coffin was in 1525

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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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