Origin of cobweb
Words nearby cobweb
What does cobweb mean?
Cobweb is another word for a spider web. But cobweb is most commonly used to refer to the kind of dusty old spider webs that hang in the corners of places that haven’t been used or cleaned in a long time, like attics and abandoned houses.
For that reason, cobweb is often used in expressions like clean out the cobwebs, meaning to do something to clear your mind or make it function normally again, perhaps after a period of inactivity or confusion.
Cobweb can also be used as a verb, meaning to cover in cobwebs, as in No one had entered the study for years, and spiders had cobwebbed the entire bookcase.
Example: The abandoned house was dusty and full of cobwebs.
Where does cobweb come from?
The first records of cobweb come from around 1300. The term spider web came into use later, in the 1500s. Cobweb comes from the Middle English coppeweb, in which coppe is the Old English word for “spider.”
When they see a spider web with a spider in it, it’s unlikely that most people would call it a cobweb, even though that’s what it is. The word cobweb is most often applied to the dust-covered webs found in unused rooms or in the corner of your ceiling that’s too high to reach when you dust.
Cobweb also has a few less common uses. It can refer to a single strand spun by a spider. It can also refer to anything that resembles a cobweb, such as something that’s flimsy and finely woven, like perhaps a lacey fabric. Even more figuratively, it can refer to a conspiracy or evil plot—a web of lies.
If you say your head is full of cobwebs, it means you’re confused or that your mind feels a bit hazy—like it needs to be cleaned out from disuse, just like a dusty attic. It can also be used as a verb meaning “to confuse,” as in The lack of sleep cobwebbed the detective, and even coffee did nothing to clear his mind.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to cobweb?
- cobwebbed (adjective, past tense verb)
- cobwebby (adjective)
What are some synonyms for cobweb?
What are some words that share a root or word element with cobweb?
What are some words that often get used in discussing cobweb?
How is cobweb used in real life?
Cobweb can just mean “spider web,” but hearing the word cobweb usually makes people think of dusty attics and haunted houses. It’s also often used in expressions about one’s mind feeling a bit fuzzy.
a cobweb just fell from the ceiling onto my face as i was reading a book and the noise i made was inhuman
— Daniel Howell (@danielhowell) July 15, 2014
You moved on—
before the dust could settle.
not even a single strand
of silver cobweb
was left behind
to hold onto.
No spider could spin
a web that quickly.
— Michael Faudet (@MichaelFaudet) February 23, 2020
The first cup of coffee gets the cobwebs out of my brain, and the second finally wakes me up ❤️☕️🥰
— Dallas Dietzenbach (@DallasDietzenba) January 22, 2020
Try using cobweb!
Is cobweb used correctly in the following sentence?
I walked right through a cobweb in the basement and now it’s stuck to me!
How to use cobweb in a sentence
The sun was setting, and he pointed to a cobweb glistening in a ray of light.Raped by a Teacher: One Woman’s Tragic Past at the Horace Mann School|Abigail Pesta|September 19, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Above it was a canopy of a deep-red cobweb, dotted with the prettiest little green flies that sparkled like precious stones.Rudy and Babette|Hans Christian Andersen
Man's passions at first are like a cobweb's thread, at last become like the thickest cable.
The cobbler of Cobweb Corner was becoming dazed with happiness.Fifty-Two Stories For Girls|Various
He would brush her machinery aside like a cobweb, but that did not affect the chance of his recognition by Sonia.The Art of Disappearing|John Talbot Smith
But—not 'in this connection,' in no connection—the utilitarian also thoroughly despises cobweb theories, as he terms them.