Definition of coffin in English:


Syllabification: cof·fin
Pronunciation: /ˈkôfən, ˈkäfən


  • 1A long, narrow box, typically of wood, in which a corpse is buried or cremated.
    More example sentences
    • Dead persons are buried in coffins on the grounds of a church or are cremated and have their ashes buried in the graveyard.
    • You may still find dead people being buried without coffins, simply because relatives cannot afford to buy one.
    • Sofia took the bodies of her daughters, placed them in a coffin and buried them outside of town.
    casket; sarcophagus
    informal box
    humorous wooden overcoat
  • 1.1 informal An old and unsafe aircraft or vessel.
    More example sentences
    • This has been custom for as long as anyone who has ever lived upon this coffin of a ship can remember.
    • The increased use of aeroplanes in warfare led to such terms as Beauey, biscuit bomber, and flying coffin.
    • Protestors call the country's airplanes flying coffins.

verb (coffins, coffining, coffined)

[with object] Back to top  
  • Put (a dead body) in a coffin.
    More example sentences
    • While the embalmed heart was returned to the chest of the deceased, the other organs were separately packaged, coffined, and stored.


Middle English (in the general sense 'box, chest, casket'): from Old French cofin 'little basket or case', from Latin cophinus (see coffer).

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