[ kaw-fer, kof-er ]
/ ˈkɔ fər, ˈkɒf ər /


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.

verb (used with object)

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 FrenchLatin cophinus basket; see coffin
Related formscof·fer·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coffers

British Dictionary definitions for coffers


/ (ˈkɒfə) /


verb (tr)

to store, as in a coffer
to decorate (a ceiling, dome, etc) with coffers

Word Origin for coffer

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 coffers



mid-13c., from Old French cofre "a chest" (12c., Modern French coffre), from Latin cophinus "basket" (see coffin).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper