- a box or chest, especially one for valuables.
- coffers, a treasury; funds
- any of various boxlike enclosures, as acofferdam.
- Also called caisson, lacunar. Architecture. one of a number of sunken panels, usually square or octagonal, in a vault, ceiling, or soffit.
mid-13c., from O.Fr. cofre "a chest," from L. cophinus "basket" (see coffin).
"About fifty miles north of Antigua reigned a man named Comagre, who lived with his many wives and children in what the historian Pietro Martire d'Anghiera described as 'a house made of big, interwoven timbers, with a hall 80 paces wide and 150 long and what looked like a coffered ceiling.'"
- Charles Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created