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[kaw-fer, kof-er]
a box or chest, especially one for valuables.
coffers, a treasury; funds: The coffers of the organization were rapidly filled by the contributions.
any of various boxlike enclosures, as a cofferdam.
Also called caisson, lacunar. Architecture. one of a number of sunken panels, usually square or octagonal, in a vault, ceiling, or soffit.
verb (used with object)
to deposit or lay up in or as in a coffer or chest.
to ornament with coffers or sunken panels.

1250–1300; Middle English cofre < Old FrenchLatin cophinus basket; see coffin

cofferlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coffer (ˈkɒfə)
1.  a chest, esp for storing valuables
2.  (usually plural) a store of money
3.  caisson, Also called: lacuna an ornamental sunken panel in a ceiling, dome, etc
4.  a watertight box or chamber
5.  a.  short for cofferdam
 b.  a recessed panel in a concrete, metal, or timber soffit
6.  to store, as in a coffer
7.  to decorate (a ceiling, dome, etc) with coffers
[C13: from Old French coffre, from Latin cophinus basket, from Greek kophinos]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-13c., from O.Fr. cofre "a chest," from L. cophinus "basket" (see coffin).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Coffer definition

the receptacle or small box placed beside the ark by the Philistines, in which they deposited the golden mice and the emerods as their trespass-offering (1 Sam. 6:8, 11, 15).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Gilded and coffered ceiling, marble columns in grandiose lobby.
Enter into a gracious windowed entry hall flanked by a stunning living room
  with coffered ceiling and wood burning fireplace.
It has a magnificent marble lobby with coffered ceiling and bronze torcheres.
The large family room has a coffered ceiling, bay window and a window seat.
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