1

cotton

noun, often attributive cot·ton \ ˈkä-tᵊn \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of cotton

1 a : a soft usually white fibrous substance composed of the hairs surrounding the seeds of various erect freely branching tropical plants (genus Gossypium) of the mallow family
b : a plant producing cotton; especially : one grown for its cotton
c : a crop of cotton
2 a : fabric made of cotton
b : yarn spun from cotton
3 : a downy cottony substance produced by various plants (such as the cottonwood)

cotton was our Word of the Day on 11/09/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of cotton in a Sentence

  1. They are in the field picking cotton.

  2. She doesn't wear cotton in the winter.

Recent Examples of cotton from the Web

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

Illustration of cotton

Origin and Etymology of cotton

Middle English coton, from Anglo-French cotun, from Old Italian cotone, from Arabic quṭun, quṭn

Other Textiles Terms


2

cotton

verb

Definition of cotton

cottoned; cottoning play \ˈkät-niŋ, ˈkä-tᵊn-iŋ\
intransitive verb
1 : to take a liking used with to
  • cottons to people easily
2 : to come to understand used with to or on to
  • cottoned on to the fact that our children work furiously
  • —H. M. McLuhan

Recent Examples of cotton from the Web

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

First Known Use of cotton

1605


Cotton

biographical name Cot·ton \ ˈkä-tᵊn \

Definition of Cotton

Charles 1630–1687 English author and translator

Cotton

biographical name

Definition of Cotton

John 1585–1652 American (English-born) Puritan clergyman


COTTON Defined for English Language Learners

cotton

noun

Definition of cotton for English Language Learners

  • : a soft, white material that grows on the seeds of a tall plant and that is used to make cloth; also : the plants on which this material grows

  • : cloth that is made of cotton; also : clothing that is made of this cloth

  • : yarn that is made of cotton


COTTON Defined for Kids

cotton

noun cot·ton \ ˈkä-tᵊn \

Definition of cotton for Students

1 : a soft fluffy usually white material made up of twisted hairs that surrounds the seeds of a tall plant of warm regions and is spun into thread or yarn
2 : thread, yarn, or cloth made from cotton

cotton

adjective
  • cotton handkerchiefs

Medical Dictionary

cotton

noun, often attributive cot·ton \ ˈkät-ᵊn \

medical Definition of cotton

1 : a soft usually white fibrous substance composed of the hairs surrounding the seeds of various erect freely branching tropical plants (genus Gossypium) of the mallow family and used extensively in making threads, yarns, and fabrics (as in surgical dressings)
2 : a plant producing cotton; especially : one grown for its cotton


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