- a box or chest, especially one for valuables.
- coffers, a treasury; funds: The coffers of the organization were rapidly filled by the contributions.
- any of various boxlike enclosures, as a cofferdam.
- Also called caisson, lacunar. Architecture. one of a number of sunken panels, usually square or octagonal, in a vault, ceiling, or soffit.
- to deposit or lay up in or as in a coffer or chest.
- to ornament with coffers or sunken panels.
Origin of coffer
1250–1300; Middle English cofre < Old French ≪ Latin cophinus basket; see coffin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for coffer
How had her body come to be in the coffer, he wondered, when all the others were—gone?
A fourth time he advanced, trembling, and seized the lid of the coffer.
So that man packed away all his cattle for him in the coffer.
How shall I be able to get all this great herd into so small a coffer?
Thus a coffer dam was formed to receive the concrete as shown in Fig. 34.Concrete Construction
Halbert P. Gillette
- a chest, esp for storing valuables
- (usually plural) a store of money
- Also called: caisson, lacuna an ornamental sunken panel in a ceiling, dome, etc
- a watertight box or chamber
- short for cofferdam
- a recessed panel in a concrete, metal, or timber soffit
- to store, as in a coffer
- to decorate (a ceiling, dome, etc) with coffers
C13: from Old French coffre, from Latin cophinus basket, from Greek kophinos
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 coffer
mid-13c., from Old French cofre "a chest" (12c., Modern French coffre), from Latin cophinus "basket" (see coffin).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper