\ ˈbōl How to pronounce boll (audio) \

Definition of boll

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the usually roundish pod or capsule of some plants (such as cotton or flax)


biographical name
\ ˈbəl How to pronounce Böll (audio) , ˈbœl \

Definition of Böll (Entry 2 of 2)

Heinrich Theodor 1917–1985 German writer

Examples of boll in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As children in the 1960s, Collier and his siblings worked the cotton fields around Black Swamp, lugging burlap sacks up and down long rows and pulling white bolls from between the plants’ needle-like stems. Los Angeles Times, "Along the Mississippi, Obamacare’s neglected legacy: civil rights," 11 May 2020 Many bolls are left unpicked owing to labour shortages. The Economist, "Bucolic botch Why big farms flopped in Ethiopia," 8 Apr. 2020 Ceiling lights by Arturo Alvarez resemble cotton bolls. Washington Post, "Hotel design trends: Lobbies and rooms with a point of view," 29 Jan. 2020 Putting so much water into fattening rice grains and swelling cotton bolls seems a criminal waste of a precious resource that urban areas are crying out for. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "How India’s Water Ends Up Everywhere But India," 8 July 2019 Engineering students at Enterprise High School used 3-D printers last year to create miniature boll-weevil monument Christmas ornaments. Beth Decarbo, WSJ, "Fear No Weevil: A Small Southern Town Embraces its Peculiar Monument," 10 Sep. 2017 Cotton seed is sprouting inside the bolls, and any salvageable lint is stained and of poor quality. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "Amid Harvey recovery, small businesses roll up sleeves and get back to work," 8 Sep. 2017 There could also be problems for cotton growers if heavy rains fall on the plants as the bolls are starting to open, said Don Keeney, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Brian K Sullivan,, "Harvey Threatens Gulf Coast, Sending Gasoline Higher," 22 Aug. 2017 At the Daughters’ memorial building, a design adorns the massive bronze doors — a cotton boll. USA TODAY, "Ex-capital of the Confederacy grapples with statues, race and reconciliation," 18 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'boll.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of boll


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for boll


Middle English

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The first known use of boll was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Boll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for boll



English Language Learners Definition of boll

: the part of the cotton plant that contains the seeds


\ ˈbōl How to pronounce boll (audio) \

Kids Definition of boll

: the usually roundish pod of some plants cotton bolls

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Nglish: Translation of boll for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about boll

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