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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)


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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; rubbish.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      The dust and cobwebs of that uncivil age.
  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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