- a watertight enclosure placed or constructed in waterlogged soil or under water and pumped dry so that construction or repairs can proceed under normal conditions.
- Nautical. a sealed void between two bulkheads, as for insulation or as an extra barrier to the escape of liquids or vapors.
Origin of cofferdam
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cofferdam
The lower part of C bulkhead was doubled and was in the form of a cofferdam.Loss of the Steamship 'Titanic'
The whole was built in a cofferdam, quite dry, and the opening was a holiday.
And the night shift began to repair the cofferdam for old Jezebel had dropped suddenly back into her old trail.Still Jim
Honor Willsie Morrow
A hand pump served to keep the cofferdam dry enough for excavating; but in more open material a power pump is usually required.
The foundations were put down by means of a cofferdam which was kept dry by pumping.
- a watertight structure, usually of sheet piling, that encloses an area under water, pumped dry to enable construction work to be carried out. Below a certain depth a caisson is required
- (on a ship) a compartment separating two bulkheads or floors, as for insulation or to serve as a barrier against the escape of gas or oil
Often shortened to: coffer
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