Definition of cocoon in English:



  • 1A silky case spun by the larvae of many insects for protection in the pupal stage.

    • ‘They are like a pupa waiting in its cocoon for rebirth, ultimately becoming a butterfly.’
    • ‘While rodents often succeed in opening cocoons and extracting the nutritious pupae, birds rarely invest the time and effort needed to pierce the silken armor.’
    • ‘Moths such as the luna and polyphemus spend the winter months as pupae in leaf-wrapped cocoons.’
    • ‘In Nest 1, the oldest cells held mature larvae ready to spin cocoons and medium-sized larvae.’
    • ‘Then they spin into a cocoon and either emerge as a second generation the same year or hibernate and emerge the next summer.’
    • ‘We watched a group of airborne insects break out of cocoons two stories above the street, crawl down the side of the building, then back up again as butterflies.’
    • ‘The chrysalis is what the silkworm becomes when it finishes spinning its cocoon.’
    • ‘I saw a spider's web and an insect larva beginning to spin a cocoon.’
    • ‘I would eventually watch some of them don a mantle of leaves and begin the process of weaving their own silk cocoons.’
    • ‘This is once again an animal fibre, but is produced by the larvae of the silk worm moth, as it spins its cocoon.’
    • ‘Male and female cocoons were separated in the field by size and in the lab by weight.’
    • ‘Many people think that monarchs spin their cocoon but they in fact just shed their skin to form the chrysalis.’
    • ‘Larvae remain in these cocoons through the winter and pupate in early spring.’
    • ‘Once spun, the cocoon takes on a silvery appearance, indicating that it is full of air that seeped out from the slit-like incisions in the root made by the larval hooks.’
    • ‘At that time, each larva wraps itself in a cocoon, plugs its chamber with silk, and becomes quiescent.’
    • ‘Later in the season, the caterpillars re-emerge to spin cocoons and overwinter under the loose bark of the trees.’
    • ‘The delicate moth that emerges from the cocoon is a pale yellowish-green.’
    • ‘She had been given the strange looking stones by the villagers, who believed them to be insect cocoons and items imbued with sacred significance.’
    • ‘Males in the cavity-nesting house wren frequently add arthropod cocoons to their nests during building, possibly as an ornamental cue for female choice.’
    • ‘My first glimpse of a snow buttercup flowering beneath a thin pane of ice was not unlike my first experience of watching a monarch butterfly emerge from its cocoon.’
    1. 1.1 A covering that prevents the corrosion of metal equipment.
    2. 1.2 Something that envelops or surrounds, especially in a protective or comforting way.
      ‘the cocoon of her kimono’
      figurative ‘a warm cocoon of love’
      • ‘But almost no mainline Protestant congregations exist in a denominationally insulated cocoon anymore.’
      • ‘I wondered if I was alone in this emotional cocoon and eagerly sought the solace of expressive uniformity from other movie goers.’
      • ‘The thing I take away from his description of all these supposedly smart people is that they live in an academic or intellectual cocoon.’
      • ‘A cocoon of silence and stillness surrounded them as the sleigh cut thorough the snow.’
      • ‘His life seems well in order, as if nicely wrapped in a cocoon of privilege and pleasure.’
      • ‘I wanted my children to have security and a cocoon of love.’
      • ‘As for the keyboard, it has a brilliant innovation: An auto-sensing backlight that's perfect for that dank cocoon you call your office.’
      • ‘As the tension mounts, Paul must come out of his own creative cocoon to get involved in the real world of decision-making and responsibility.’
      • ‘Reluctant to leave my now cosy-as-toast cocoon, I bellow for silence, my voice echoing in our still-undecorated rooms.’
      • ‘My mother was an introvert too, and when I grew up, we were alone - it was like we were in our own little cocoon.’
      • ‘Someday when today's leaders write their memoirs, we may finally learn about the psychological ramifications of living inside this security cocoon.’
      • ‘His increasingly esoteric songs suggest that the musical cocoon he's been spinning around himself for a decade deflects his sight inward again and again.’
      • ‘Having moved out of the family and college cocoon, many are balancing careers, living expenses and the beginning of their adult lives.’
      • ‘He snapped it shut, closing me in a cocoon of darkness.’
      • ‘There was a slight shifting, and then Carrie had the sheet pulled tightly around her in a warm little cocoon.’
      • ‘She woke to a blissfully comfortable state, smothered in a cocoon of feathery soft blankets.’
      • ‘At the same time, I can't just sit here in my own little cocoon every night, can I?’
      • ‘The mist hung in a sort of cocoon about them, blotting out the rest of the forest.’
      • ‘The whole idea is to expand one's thinking, not stay in the same mental cocoon.’
      • ‘She was still curled up in a ball, wrapped into her own little cocoon.’


  • 1Envelop or surround in a protective or comforting way.

    ‘we began to feel cold even though we were cocooned in our sleeping bags’
    • ‘Rather than being cocooned in five-star sterility, it's fun and comfortable to stay at one of these innumerable small homely hotels.’
    • ‘Passengers were to be cocooned in compartments lined with deep cushions, but they preferred to see out, and the idea never caught on.’
    • ‘Maybe, just maybe the musician knew his son - cocooned in amniotic fluid - was listening as he blew saxophone notes across to his girlfriend's belly.’
    • ‘‘It is difficult starting up any new business, particularly if you have been cocooned in a comfortable corporate lifestyle,’ he said.’
    • ‘This ‘air scarf’ means that as you drive along with the roof down your head is cocooned in a pillow of warm air.’
    • ‘You lie there, cocooned in the covers, making mental lists of all you should do that day, must do.’
    • ‘By writing books like this we ensure that we remain cocooned in our own little world of fantasies’
    • ‘They were cocooned in their own world, with not the slightest concern for anyone around.’
    • ‘The lavender cream is massaged into your skin before you're cocooned in thermal sheets.’
    • ‘The Bible sits, nestled in pink tissue paper and cocooned in a wooden box.’
    • ‘He explained: ‘As ministers, we are cocooned in the official system of advice.’’
    • ‘We keep a look out for friends' boats and chat to lock-keepers but for most of the time we're cocooned in our comfortable, private world.’
    • ‘As we did so, everyone at the table mirrored our movement so that we were cocooned in secrecy.’
    • ‘He was still cocooned in the huge, puffy white blanket.’
    • ‘With two hours to kill, I stopped in one of those terminal bars where you can fill your stomach and, cocooned in anonymity, read a newspaper.’
    • ‘Instantly my mind saw myself on the back porch of my childhood home cocooned in quilts, reading.’
    • ‘While motorists are safely cocooned in a metal shell, bikers are exposed and vulnerable.’
    • ‘She allowed herself to be cocooned in the warm swaddling cloth of his borrowed shirt, feeling, for once, safe and warm and almost invincible.’
    • ‘Trucks and cars swoosh past us occasionally, otherwise we are cocooned in the subliminal hum of the forest.’
    • ‘The individual on whom I wish to focus began life blind to its problems and cocooned in luxury.’
    wrap, swathe, bundle up, swaddle, sheathe, muffle, pad, cloak, enfold, envelop, surround, encase, enclose, cover, fold, wind
    protect, keep safe, keep from harm, safeguard, shield, defend, shelter, screen, look after, take care of, care for, cushion, insulate, isolate, cloister
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Spray with a protective coating.
    2. 1.2North American no object Retreat from the stressful conditions of public life into the cozy private world of the family.
      ‘the movers and shakers are now cocooning’
      • ‘Many will simply cocoon after having eaten and spent too much over the holidays.’
      • ‘The parties went on and when not socializing he cocooned more and more with his family.’
      • ‘Soon enough, we will all be cocooning again around the fireplace, so now is the time to change the pace.’
      • ‘Increasingly, we deal with the hyperculture cacophony by cocooning - commuting home with headphones on while working on our laptops.’
      • ‘Net shopping caters to the modern urge to cocoon.’
      • ‘Instead of leading the country to an exciting new reality, they cocoon in a scary, paranoid, regressive reality.’
      • ‘If you cocooned with your girlfriend when you first moved in together and now want to do less of that, she may be wondering ‘What changed?’’
      • ‘If you want to cocoon for a while to recharge your batteries, this is the perfect place to do it.’
      • ‘It is a way of hiding, it's a way of pulling things around you and cocooning and getting away from it all for a while.’
      • ‘The proposal invites locals to change their habit of cocooning inside unhealthy, mechanically ventilated environments.’
      • ‘Trendwatchers say people are cocooning and spending more time at home, perhaps because of current events.’
      • ‘I'm going to go out and buy delicious things to cook for dinner, maybe a DVD, and cocoon.’
      • ‘First known for her early 1990's prediction that we would soon be cocooning, she has since become a guru on being a consumer.’
      • ‘Often, the morning after they hooked up with their friend, the couple would cocoon.’


Late 17th century: from French cocon, from medieval Provençal coucoun ‘eggshell, cocoon’, diminutive of coca ‘shell’. The verb dates from the mid 19th century.