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

The younger Rosa’s explosive 36-yard rushing touchdown gave Wilcox the lead, and Ah Sing’s 13-yard rushing score put the nail in the coffin. Justice Delos Santos, The Mercury News, "Wilcox scores 27 straight points to come back and beat San Benito," 6 Sep. 2019 Most of the team was asleep in 12 coffin-like bunks, or curled up on the benches in the back. Matt Porter,, "From the ECHL to Eastern Conference champs, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy has come a long way," 24 Aug. 2019 Stan was locked in a coffin-like box for 23 hours a day underneath the couple’s bed for seven years. Diana Pearl,, "How Jayme Closs, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard and Others Survived Headline-Making Abductions," 19 Aug. 2019 Awaiting them in Scotland is a piece of furniture being built to use as a coffin and a bench in the show. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Young Friendswood actors hope to make splash in Scotland," 15 July 2019 Now, the shoebox has become a combination coffin and incubator, stuffed into the back of the fridge. Vanessa Hua,, "The wonder of silkworms, past and present," 5 July 2019 Khaled el-Anany told reporters that work on the outermost coffin, which is made of wood and gilded with gold, is expected to take at least eight months., "Egypt begins first-ever restoration work on King Tut’s golden coffin," 4 Aug. 2019 Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany told reporters Sunday that work on the outermost coffin, made of wood and gilded with gold, will take at least eight months. Washington Post, "Egypt begins restoration on King Tut’s golden coffin," 4 Aug. 2019 The coffin, which still had bark on the exterior, was discovered in March 2017 during construction work on the Schulhaus Kern. Fox News, "Iron Age Celtic woman buried in 'tree coffin'," 31 July 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

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for coffin

The first known use of coffin was in 1525

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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

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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

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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