Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Common Crow (Euploea core) 2385 (2017.02.05).jpg

Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin chrysalis, from Ancient Greek χρυσαλλίς (khrusallís), from χρυσός (khrusós, gold), because of the color of some of them.



chrysalis (plural chrysalises or chrysalides)

  1. The pupa of a butterfly or moth, enclosed inside a cocoon, in which metamorphosis takes place.
    • 1929, M. Barnard Eldershaw, chapter VII, in A House is Built, viii:
      Fanny was afraid. She was like an insect new-hatched from its chrysalis, naked and unprotected in a dawn she could not face.
  2. The cocoon itself.
  3. (figuratively) A strong constraint; shackles.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      However, with the dainty volume my quondam friend sprang into fame. At the same time he cast off the chrysalis of a commonplace existence.
    • 2020 September 1, Douglas Rushkoff, “The Privileged Have Entered Their Escape Pods”, in OneZero[1]:
      No, no matter how far Ray Kurzweil gets with his artificial intelligence project at Google, we cannot simply rise from the chrysalis of matter as pure consciousness.


Further reading[edit]