Definitions

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

  • noun A protective case of silk or similar fibrous material spun by the larvae of moths and certain other insects as a cover for the pupa.
  • noun A similar natural protective covering or structure, such as the egg case of a spider.
  • noun A protective plastic coating that is placed over stored military or naval equipment.
  • noun Something that envelops, protects, or isolates.
  • intransitive verb To envelop (an insect) in a cocoon.
  • intransitive verb To wrap in a blanket or other covering.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be isolated or protected from harsh, dangerous, or disturbing realities; insulate.
  • intransitive verb To be isolated or protected from harsh, dangerous, or disturbing realities, especially by remaining indoors at home in one's free time.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The South African bastard wildebeest or brindled gnu, Catoblepas gorgon. Dallas.
  • To form a cocoon.
  • To wrap as in a cocoon.
  • noun The silky tissue or envelop which the larvæ of many insects spin as a covering for themselves while they are in the chrysalis state. The cocoon of the silkworm is a familiar example. See cut under Bombyx.
  • noun The silken case in which many spiders inclose their eggs.
  • noun Generally, an egg-case, such as is produced by various animals.

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

  • noun An oblong case in which the silkworm lies in its chrysalis state. It is formed of threads of silk spun by the worm just before leaving the larval state. From these the silk of commerce is prepared.
  • noun The case constructed by any insect to contain its larva or pupa.
  • noun The case of silk made by spiders to protect their eggs.
  • noun The egg cases of mucus, etc., made by leeches and other worms.

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

  • noun The silky protective case spun by the larvae of some insects and moths in which they metamorphose, the pupa.
  • noun Any similar protective case, whether real or metaphorical.
  • verb To envelop in a protective case, or to withdraw into such a case.

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

  • noun silky envelope spun by the larvae of many insects to protect pupas and by spiders to protect eggs
  • verb retreat as if into a cocoon, as from an unfriendly environment
  • verb wrap in or as if in a cocoon, as for protection

Etymologies

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

[French cocon, from Provençal coucoun, diminutive of coco, shell, from Late Latin coccum, from Latin, berry, oak gall, from Greek kokkos, seed, berry.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French cocon, diminutive of coque ‘shell’.

Examples

  • He resigned on principle so that he could not be trapped in what he termed the cocoon of collective responsibility to defend or toe the government line.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • While it would be nice to actually get some reading done during the commute on a train, it's also kind of nice to have the little automobile bubble around you, where you can set your own music and temperature and get a little cocoon from the crazies.

    Cocoon from the Crazies

  • Mike Dukakis share a similar handicap that I call the "cocoon syndrome."

    Gov. Rick Perry From Two Angles

  • With a small whisk-broom the cocoon is brushed until ends, which are as fine as a cobweb, come loose.

    Six Months in Mexico

  • Yes, the little silken room they weave we call a cocoon, but the ant lions make theirs of silk and sand.

    The Insect Folk

  • In a very short time the gum with which the insect had covered the cocoon is dissolved, and the loose threads will begin to float on the water, and five or six being collected, the reeling of the silk begins.

    The Lady's Country Companion: or, How to Enjoy a Country Life Rationally

  • Of course, we may also have a heightened sensitivity to the obscurations, fear and cloaking -- what we call in Shambhala the "cocoon" -- the web of habitual patterns and manipulation that passes for authenticity but is really a kind of camouflage.

    David Nichtern: Real World Meditation: Why Being Present Matters

  • Of course, we may also have a heightened sensitivity to the obscurations, fear and cloaking -- what we call in Shambhala the "cocoon" -- the web of habitual patterns and manipulation that passes for authenticity but is really a kind of camouflage.

    David Nichtern: Real World Meditation: Why Being Present Matters

  • Obama's high-tech 'cocoon' - Shortly after taking the oath of office, Obama will climb into the Mother of All Hybrids -- part car, part truck and, from the looks of it, part tank.

    Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

  • Obama's high-tech 'cocoon' - Shortly after taking the oath of office, Obama will climb into the Mother of All Hybrids -- part car, part truck and, from the looks of it, part tank.

    Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

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