cobwebs


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cob·web

 (kŏb′wĕb′)
n.
1.
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.

cobwebs

(ˈkɒbˌwɛbz)
pl n
1. mustiness, confusion, or obscurity
2. informal stickiness of the eyelids experienced upon first awakening
References in classic literature ?
He smoked a cob pipe and after his wife's death sat all day in his empty office close by a window that was covered with cobwebs.
This airy hall, therefore, over the Collector's apartments, remains unfinished to this day, and, in spite of the aged cobwebs that festoon its dusky beams, appears still to await the labour of the carpenter and mason.
The garret of the house that Legree occupied, like most other garrets, was a great, desolate space, dusty, hung with cobwebs, and littered with cast-off lumber.
They saw a weed-grown, floorless room, unplastered, an ancient fireplace, va- cant windows, a ruinous staircase; and here, there, and everywhere hung ragged and abandoned cobwebs.
The fact was that the fresh wind from the moor had begun to blow the cobwebs out of her young brain and to waken her up a little.
Hearts confined by cobwebs would burst at last, and then Love was avenged.
An epergne or centrepiece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite undistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black fungus, I saw speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home to it, and running out from it, as if some circumstances of the greatest public importance had just transpired in the spider community.
I went into another room, where the walls and ceiling were all hung round with cobwebs, except a narrow passage for the artist to go in and out.
Well, sir, you'll be covered with cobwebs if you go into it.
In this horrible enclosure stood a small black house, which had only two grated windows, all covered with cobwebs, and a battered iron door.
It was a very small stuffy fusty room, with boards, and rafters, and cobwebs, and lath and plaster.
By 1897 it had spun as many cobwebs of wire as the mighty Western Union itself; by 1900 it had twice as many miles of wire as the Western Union, and in 1905 FIVE TIMES as many.