Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.


a. A spiderweb, especially an old one that is covered in dust.
b. A single thread spun by a spider.
2. Something resembling a spiderweb in gauziness or flimsiness: "An extraordinary number of elegant ladies ... flowed in, heels clicking, diamonds flashing, adjusting tiny cobwebs of priceless lace on immaculate coiffures" (Jane Stevenson).
3. An intricate plot; a snare: caught in a cobweb of espionage and intrigue.
4. cobwebs Confusion; disorder: cobwebs on the brain.
tr.v. cob·webbed, cob·web·bing, cob·webs
To cover with or as if with cobwebs.

[Middle English coppeweb : coppe, spider (short for attercoppe, from Old English āttercoppe : ātor, poison + copp, head) + web, web; see web.]

cob′web′by adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.cobwebby - so thin as to transmit lightcobwebby - so thin as to transmit light; "a hat with a diaphanous veil"; "filmy wings of a moth"; "gauzy clouds of dandelion down"; "gossamer cobwebs"; "sheer silk stockings"; "transparent chiffon"; "vaporous silks"
thin - of relatively small extent from one surface to the opposite or in cross section; "thin wire"; "a thin chiffon blouse"; "a thin book"; "a thin layer of paint"
2.cobwebby - covered with cobwebs
dirty, soiled, unclean - soiled or likely to soil with dirt or grime; "dirty unswept sidewalks"; "a child in dirty overalls"; "dirty slums"; "piles of dirty dishes"; "put his dirty feet on the clean sheet"; "wore an unclean shirt"; "mining is a dirty job"; "Cinderella did the dirty work while her sisters preened themselves"
References in classic literature ?
She's going to a dance, and she's got the sweetest dress for it -- creamy yellow silk and cobwebby lace.
She made ruffled chemises of sheer linen, with her own fine edgings and French embroidery on breast and shoulders; linen hand-made combination undersuits; and nightgowns, fairy and cobwebby, embroidered, trimmed with Irish lace.
There were a couple of brace of cold woodcock, a pheasant, a pâté de foie gras pie with a group of ancient and cobwebby bottles.
Yet the cobwebby institution, an archaic fantasy we'd never dream of inventing, is itself a block to decency and progress.
But that's just life, clinging to you in its cobwebby way.
Dracula prowls the castle looking for a victim" How we remember it: Made by the same company that create Monopoly and it showed - except the des res of Park Lane had been swapped for a cobwebby Transylvania castle which you moved your piece around in an attempt to avoid getting nipped on the neck by the undead.
Go into the attic, crawl-spaces, basements, and cobwebby areas," Cohen advises.
Laws confuse him, and no wonder--who can digest all those cobwebby laws?
Despite all that's wrong, at least it looks good, especially when we venture into Satis House to witness Miss Havisham presiding over a table creaking with crumbling, cobwebby wedding cake.
An unhinged jilted bride who won't take off her cobwebby wedding dress?
BOSS studies the universe's history by mapping the gigantic, cobwebby structures traced out by hundreds of thousands of galaxies.