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cocoon

[kuh-koon] /kəˈkun/
noun
1.
the silky envelope spun by the larvae of many insects, as silkworms, serving as a covering while they are in the pupal stage.
2.
any of various similar protective coverings in nature, as the silky case in which certain spiders enclose their eggs.
3.
a protective covering, usually consisting of polyvinyl chloride, sprayed over machinery, large guns on board ships, etc., to provide an airtight seal and prevent rust during long periods of storage.
4.
any encompassingly protective or hermetic wrapping or enclosure resembling a cocoon:
a cocoon of gauze.
verb (used without object)
5.
to produce a cocoon.
verb (used with object)
6.
to wrap or enclose tightly, as if in a cocoon:
The doctor cocooned the patient in blankets.
7.
to provide (machinery, guns, etc.) with a protective, airtight covering by spraying with polyvinyl chloride or the like.
8.
to envelop or surround protectively; insulate:
a political leader cocooned by his staff and his bodyguards.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; < French cocon < Provençal coucoun egg-shell, equivalent to coco shell (< Latin coccum; see cochineal) + French -on diminutive suffix
Related forms
cocoonlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for cocoon
  • The dying star itself is still hidden by a dusty cocoon.
  • The caterpillar is driven to be a feeding machine, and once gorged on its food, it spins a cocoon or chrysalis.
  • In other words, scientists are slowly starting to get out of the cocoon.
  • Next, you slide the computer from its messenger-bag-shaped cocoon.
  • With the spring's warmth it will wake up and pupate, spinning a cocoon out of its fuzz fortified with a few squirts of silk.
  • These spiders spin large webs in which females suspend a cocoon with hundreds of eggs.
British Dictionary definitions for cocoon

cocoon

/kəˈkuːn/
noun
1.
  1. a silky protective envelope secreted by silkworms and certain other insect larvae, in which the pupae develop
  2. a similar covering for the eggs of the spider, earthworm, etc
2.
a protective spray covering used as a seal on machinery
3.
a cosy warm covering
verb
4.
(transitive) to wrap in a cocoon
Word Origin
C17: from French cocon, from Provençal coucoun eggshell, from coco shell, from Latin coccum kermes berry, from Greek kokkos grain, seed, berry; compare coccus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cocoon
cocoon
1699, from Fr. coucon, from coque "clam shell, egg shell, nut shell," from O.Fr. coque "shell," from L. coccum "berry," from Gk. kokkos "berry, seed."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cocoon in Science
cocoon
  (kə-kn')   
  1. A case or covering of silky strands spun by an insect larva and inhabited for protection during its pupal stage.

  2. A similar protective structure, such as the egg cases made by spiders or earthworms.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for cocoon

cocoon

noun

One's cozy home: Each morning he leaves his domestic cocoon in Rancho Palos Verdes

verb

To stay at home, and, often, to be inactive: The couch potatoes are going to be cocooning in their families' personal oases (1980s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for cocoon

a case produced in the larval stage of certain animals (e.g., butterflies, moths, leeches, earthworms, Turbellaria) for the resting pupal stage (see pupa) in the life cycle. Certain spiders spin a fibrous mass, or cocoon, to cover their eggs

Learn more about cocoon with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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10
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