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noun, plural chrys·a·lis·es, chry·sal·i·des [kri-sal-i-deez] /krɪˈsæl ɪˌdiz/.
  1. the hard-shelled pupa of a moth or butterfly; an obtect pupa.
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Origin of chrysalis

1650–60; < Latin chrȳsalis < Greek chrȳsallís, equivalent to chrȳs- chrys- + -allis suffix, probably with diminutive value
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for chrysalis

evolution, advancement, expansion, improvement, increase, progress, maturity, progression, addition, reinforcement, enlargement, augmentation, hike, flowering, advance, boost, buildup, spread, adulthood, developing

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British Dictionary definitions for chrysalis


noun plural chrysalises or chrysalides (krɪˈsælɪˌdiːz)
  1. the obtect pupa of a moth or butterfly
  2. anything in the process of developing
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Word Origin for chrysalis

C17: from Latin chrӯsallis, from Greek khrusallis, from khrusos gold, of Semitic origin; compare Hebrew harūz gold
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

Word Origin and History for chrysalis


c.1600, from Latin chrysallis, from Greek khrysallis (genitive khrysallidos) "golden colored pupa of the butterfly," from khrysos "gold," perhaps of Semitic origin (cf. Hebrew and Phoenician harutz "gold") + second element meaning something like "sheath." Seeking a plural, OED leans toward the classically correct chrysalides.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chrysalis in Science


  1. The pupa of certain kinds of insects, especially of moths and butterflies, that is inactive and enclosed in a firm case or cocoon from which the adult eventually emerges.
  2. The case or cocoon of a chrysalis.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.