Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A pupa, especially of a butterfly.
  • noun The hardened case of a pupa.
  • noun A protected stage of development.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A form which butterflies, moths, and most other insects assume when they abandon the larval or caterpillar state and before they arrive at their winged or perfect state; specifically, the pupa of a butterfly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) The pupa state of certain insects, esp. of butterflies, from which the perfect insect emerges. See pupa, and aurelia (a).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The pupa of a butterfly or moth, enclosed inside a cocoon, in which metamorphosis takes place

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun pupa of a moth or butterfly enclosed in a cocoon

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin chrȳsallis, from Greek khrūsallis, khrūsallid-, gold-colored pupa of a butterfly, from khrūsos, gold; see chryso–.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek χρυσαλλίς ("golden"), because of the color of some of them.

Examples

  • As soon as it is grown big enough and fat enough, the grub hangs itself up as a "chrysalis" which is a Greek word that may be freely rendered into "golden jewel."

    Woodland Tales

  • The chrysalis is what the silkworm becomes when it finishes spinning its cocoon.

    Boing Boing: December 19, 2004 - December 25, 2004 Archives

  • We also never hear the word chrysalis without thinking of Miss Waterman.

    post-gazette.com - News

  • For insects produce a scolex first; the scolex after developing becomes egg-like (for the so-called chrysalis or pupa is equivalent to an egg); then from this it is that a perfect animal comes into being, reaching the end of its development in the second change.

    On the Generation of Animals

  • A moth just issuing from his chrysalis is the only being which seems to have felt his soporific influence; whereas the other god I have mentioned may vaunt the glory of subduing the most formidable of animals.

    Dreams Waking Thoughts and Incidents

  • Moth caterpillars spin a cocoon while butterfly larvae form a leathery shell called a chrysalis.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • A moth just issuing from his chrysalis is the only being which seems to have felt his soporific influence; whereas the other god I have mentioned may vaunt the glory of subduing the most formidable of animals.

    Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents

  • "The metaphor for 'chrysalis' as a bass fiddle with no strings and a small pistol" is so profoundly smart, and on the mark!

    Literate Reply

  • Equipped with a fiscally responsible and well-paid wife I did actually give up a perfectly good day job to ‘become a writer’ as if some kind of chrysalis was involved.

    Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money « Whatever

  • In the nymphalid butterflies, the pupa is often called a 'chrysalis' on account of the golden hue displayed by the cuticle, and the term

    The Life-Story of Insects

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