cobweb

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Hyphenation: cob‧web
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

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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.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      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
    • Cowper
      Entangled in the cobwebs of the schools.
  5. (Internet, rare, slang) 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.


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