cotton on

phrasal verb

Definition of cotton on

informal
: to begin to understand something : to catch on
  • It took a while, but they are finally starting to cotton on.
often + to
  • She cottoned on to the fact that I like her.

Word by Word Definitions

cotton play
  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

  2. : a plant producing cotton

  3. : a crop of cotton

  1. : to take a liking

  2. : to come to understand


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cotton on? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!