cotton-picking

adjective
cot·​ton-pick·​ing | \ ˈkä-tᵊn-ˌpi-kiŋ How to pronounce cotton-picking (audio) , -ˌpi-kən \

Definition of cotton-picking

offensive
: damned used as an intensive or as a generalized expression of disapproval

Note: Widely considered offensive, the adjective cotton-picking is seen as belittling labor that millions of Black people were forced to do in the southern United States from the late 18th century and into the 20th century, first as enslaved people and later as sharecroppers.

First Known Use of cotton-picking

1917, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About cotton-picking

Time Traveler for cotton-picking

Time Traveler

The first known use of cotton-picking was in 1917

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near cotton-picking

cotton picker

cotton-picking

cotton powder

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cotton-picking

Cite this Entry

“Cotton-picking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cotton-picking. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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