chrysalis

[kris-uh-lis]
noun, plural chrysalises, chrysalides [kri-sal-i-deez] .
the hard-shelled pupa of a moth or butterfly; an obtect pupa.

Origin:
1650–60; < Latin chrȳsalis < Greek chrȳsallís, equivalent to chrȳs- chrys- + -allis suffix, probably with diminutive value

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World English Dictionary
chrysalis (ˈkrɪsəlɪs)
 
n , pl chrysalises, chrysalides
1.  the obtect pupa of a moth or butterfly
2.  anything in the process of developing
 
[C17: from Latin chrӯsallis, from Greek khrusallis, from khrusos gold, of Semitic origin; compare Hebrew harūz gold]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chrysalis
c.1600, from L. chrysallis, from Gk. khrysallis "golden colored," from khrysos "gold," of Sem. origin, + second element meaning something like "sheath."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
chrysalis   (krĭs'ə-lĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The pupa of certain kinds of insects, especially of moths and butterflies, that is inactive and enclosed in a firm case or cocoon from which the adult eventually emerges.

  2. The case or cocoon of a chrysalis.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They were shaping a pilot, the hopeful chrysalis of a television show.
The three-act structure-caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly-is fully played
  out here.
The caterpillar is driven to be a feeding machine, and once gorged on its food,
  it spins a cocoon or chrysalis.
With a fierce beating of wings, the butterfly has finally escaped her chrysalis
  and taken flight.
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