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From Middle English copweb, coppeweb, equivalent to cop (spider) +‎ web. Compare Middle Dutch kopwebbe, German Low German Kobbenwebbe (Westphalian).


  • Hyphenation: cob‧web
  • (file)


English Wikipedia has an article on:

cobweb (plural cobwebs)

  1. A spiderweb, or the remains of one, especially an asymmetrical one that is woven with an irregular pattern of threads.
    • 1865, Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod, Chapter X. "Provincetown", page 200.
      [] there was stretched across his gateway a circular cobweb of the largest kind and quite entire. This looked so ominous that I actually turned aside and went in the back way.
  2. One of its filaments; gossamer
  3. (figuratively) Something thin and unsubstantial, or flimsy and worthless; valueless remainder.
    • (Can we date this quote by Philip Sidney and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The dust and cobwebs of that uncivil age.
    • 2018 February 10, Phil McNulty, “Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Arsenal”, in BBC[1]:
      Once the cobwebs of a lack-lustre first half were blown away, Spurs were irresistible and Arsenal were simply unable to cope with the power of Mousa Dembele in midfield and the creation and running of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli - combined with the inevitable goalscoring prowess of Kane.
  4. An intricate plot to catch the unwary
    • (Can we date this quote by Cowper and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Entangled in the cobwebs of the schools.
  5. (Internet slang, rare) A web page that either has not been updated for a long time, or that is rarely visited
  6. The European spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa striata.
  7. (informal, usually in the plural) fuzzy inexact memories
    • 2008 Burlan Eugene Ellison The Ebony Coffin: A Jim Kirkwood Novel page 98
      I washed my face, trying to get the cobwebs of hard sex and an alcohol-induced sleep out of my head
    • 2012 Stanley M. Bierman Napoleon's Penis: Plus Other Engaging and Outrageous Tales page 16
      Veyz rnir, meaning something like “Oh . . . my!,” was a Yiddish expression that I had not employed for a long, long time. Yet in the cobwebs of my memory, that expression was still lurking inside. How interesting!
    • 2019 Hot Blood, Hot Thoughts, Hot Deeds, Empire season 5 episode 13
      I'm just saying, you being a mama, it's time to clear the cobwebs. You know what I'm saying? Put a banana in the monkey. You know, hot dog in your bun.


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