a. A protective case of silk or similar fibrous material spun by the larvae of moths and certain other insects as a cover for the pupa.
b. A similar natural protective covering or structure, such as the egg case of a spider.
2. A protective plastic coating that is placed over stored military or naval equipment.
3. Something that envelops, protects, or isolates: "a star hidden in a cocoon of dust" (Freeman Dyson). "Actors live in a cocoon of praise. They never meet people who don't like them" (Robert Morley).
v. co·cooned, co·coon·ing, co·coons
1. To envelop (an insect) in a cocoon.
2. To wrap in a blanket or other covering.
3. To cause to be isolated or protected from harsh, dangerous, or disturbing realities; insulate.
To be isolated or protected from harsh, dangerous, or disturbing realities, especially by remaining indoors at home in one's free time.
[French cocon, from Provençal coucoun, diminutive of coco, shell, from Late Latin coccum, from Latin, berry, oak gall, from Greek kokkos, seed, berry.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.