Definition of coffin in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkôfən/ /ˈkɔfən/ /ˈkäfən/ /ˈkɑfən/

Translate coffin into Spanish


  • 1A long, narrow box, typically of wood, in which a corpse is buried or cremated.

    ‘they lowered her coffin into the ground’
    • ‘Dead persons are buried in coffins on the grounds of a church or are cremated and have their ashes buried in the graveyard.’
    • ‘You may still find dead people being buried without coffins, simply because relatives cannot afford to buy one.’
    • ‘Sofia took the bodies of her daughters, placed them in a coffin and buried them outside of town.’
    • ‘It was as if the body in the wooden coffin that was being lowered into the ground was not Scott's but someone else.’
    • ‘The dead person is buried in a coffin about two feet below ground level.’
    • ‘Heavy slabs had been laid atop the ground over their coffins to discourage body snatchers.’
    • ‘More traditional-minded people in China sometimes like to rest their dead in coffins, but the bodies are subsequently cremated without the coffins.’
    • ‘Some of the dead were buried in log coffins set in pits in the ground, others were placed on the ground surface and covered in logs or wooden frames.’
    • ‘The body is buried without a coffin in a grave deep enough to conceal odor and prevent abuse by animals.’
    • ‘In the distance, a funeral party lowered a coffin into the ground.’
    • ‘The minister, many scandals later - including one about over-priced coffins for dead soldiers - is still there.’
    • ‘All 34 bodies were placed in coffins and loaded onto military trucks for burial 100 meters from the airport runway.’
    • ‘A procession of tiny white coffins bearing the bodies of three young brothers who died when a fire engulfed their home brought tears to those present.’
    • ‘The first of the funerals is expected to take place today and the city's main cathedral will be given over to the coffins of the dead over the weekend.’
    • ‘Rescuers used ropes to pull out the bodies, which were later washed, wrapped in plastic sheets and buried in wooden coffins.’
    • ‘Around him, wailing women collapsed over the coffins of the dead.’
    • ‘The exposed dark wood of the coffins had degraded but they were basically undamaged.’
    • ‘The boy was buried in the same coffin as his mother.’
    • ‘The big steel gates opened again and a three wheeled motorcycle drove in pulling a low trailer upon which were perched two plain wood coffins.’
    • ‘Today, people tend to be buried in newly-made coffins.’
    box, sarcophagus
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal An old and unsafe aircraft or vessel.
      • ‘This has been custom for as long as anyone who has ever lived upon this coffin of a ship can remember.’
      • ‘The increased use of aeroplanes in warfare led to such terms as Beauey, biscuit bomber, and flying coffin.’
      • ‘Protestors call the country's airplanes flying coffins.’

transitive verbcoffins, coffining, coffined

[with object]
  • Put (a dead body) in a coffin.

    ‘the young man was coffined decently’
    • ‘While the embalmed heart was returned to the chest of the deceased, the other organs were separately packaged, coffined, and stored.’


Middle English (in the general sense ‘box, casket’): from Old French cofin ‘little basket or case’, from Latin cophinus (see coffer).