9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kaw-fin, kof-in] /ˈkɔ fɪn, ˈkɒf ɪn/
the box or case in which the body of a dead person is placed for burial; casket.
the part of a horse's foot containing the coffin bone.
  1. the bed of a platen press.
  2. the wooden frame around the bed of an early wooden press.
verb (used with object)
to put or enclose in or as in a coffin.
Origin of coffin
1300-50; Middle English cofin < Old North French < Latin cophinus < Greek kóphinos a kind of basket
Related forms
coffinless, adjective
uncoffin, verb (used with object)


[kaw-fin, kof-in] /ˈkɔ fɪn, ˈkɒf ɪn/
Levi, 1798–1877, U.S. abolitionist leader.
Robert P(eter) Tristram, 1892–1955, U.S. poet, essayist, and biographer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coffin
  • He talked about how the trip in the coffin was painful and odd.
  • He climbed in the coffin and in one moment, he lost all consciousness on the return home.
  • The coffin was a solid bronze casket with gold plated rails and white upholstery.
  • Space burial is the practice of firing the coffin into space.
  • Cultures that practice burial have widely different styles of coffin.
  • Many manufacturers offer a warranty on the structural integrity of the coffin.
  • Some choose to use a coffin made of wood or other materials like particle board.
  • They also built a horse drawn carriage to pull the coffin to the cemetery.
  • It is recommended that jewelry be removed before the coffin is sealed for this reason.
  • Due to her concern for the environment, she requested to be buried in a cardboard coffin.
British Dictionary definitions for coffin


a box in which a corpse is buried or cremated
the part of a horse's foot that contains the coffin bone
(transitive) to place in or as in a coffin
(engineering) another name for flask (sense 6)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French cofin, from Latin cophinus basket; see coffer
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 coffin

early 14c., "chest or box for valuables," from Old French cofin "sarcophagus," earlier "basket, coffer" (12c., Modern French coffin), from Latin cophinus "basket, hamper" (source of Italian cafano, Spanish cuebano "basket"), from Greek kophinos "a basket," of uncertain origin.

Funeral sense in English is 1520s; before that it was the literal Latin one and had also a meaning of "pie crust" (late 14c.). Meaning "vehicle regarded as unsafe" is from 1830s. Coffin nail "cigarette" is slang from 1880; nail in (one's) coffin "thing that contributes to one's death" is from 1792.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for coffin


  1. A ship regarded as unsafe; later, any unsafe vehicle (1830s+)
  2. A tank or armored car (WWII Army)

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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coffin in the Bible

used in Gen. 50:26 with reference to the burial of Joseph. Here, it means a mummy-chest. The same Hebrew word is rendered "chest" in 2 Kings 12:9, 10.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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