cotton wool


Definition of cotton wool

: raw cotton especially : cotton batting

Examples of cotton wool in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One teenager left New York for college and encountered the children of the Midwest, most of whom looked to have been wrapped in cotton wool their entire lives. Craig Taylor, Time, "I Interviewed Hundreds of New Yorkers. Here's What They Taught Me," 24 Mar. 2021 Balls of cotton wool were teased into fluffy piles—a fire hazard, given their flammability and the hot studio lights. The Economist, "Making white Christmases A short history of Hollywood snow business," 12 Dec. 2019 The player that all Arsenal fans will want to wrap up in cotton wool ahead of their return to Premier League action against Sheffield United., "How Arsenal's Players Got on During the October International Break," 16 Oct. 2019 Girls in low-middle-income countries report using materials like cloths, cotton wool, tissue paper or disposable pads to manage their periods, the study said. Nina Avramova, CNN, "There's an effective, environmentally friendly option for people with periods, and few know about it, research says," 16 July 2019 On a twin bed covered by a thin clear plastic sheet, sat a bag with surgical gloves, a jar of petroleum jelly, cotton wool, some pain killers and the needle, attached to a long, thin tube, which is used to drain the fluid into a bucket on the floor. Alex Platt, CNN, "Trump's ban on global abortion funding has led to more abortions," 24 May 2018 These were white reliefs with surfaces made from familiar materials and objects (fabric, bread, cotton wool) covered in liquid kaolin, a white clay, which stiffened when dry. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Enrico Castellani, Artist in the Postwar Avant-Garde, Dies at 87," 12 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cotton wool.' 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 cotton wool

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cotton wool

Time Traveler

The first known use of cotton wool was in the 14th century

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Statistics for cotton wool

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cotton wool.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cotton wool

cotton wool


English Language Learners Definition of cotton wool

British : a mass of cotton that is used especially for cleaning the skin or wounds



Medical Definition of cotton-wool


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