[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 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
If you put nothing in the tax coffers, no tax credit is refundable.
Few have the luxury of dipping into their parents' coffers.
Remember, the system was about to collapse and they needed the public coffers
  to keep an insolvent private banking industry alive.
So perhaps it all comes down to marketing, winning public acceptance, and
  gouging funding out of investors and public coffers.
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