cot·​ton·​wood | \ ˈkä-tᵊn-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce cottonwood (audio) \

Definition of cottonwood

: any of several poplars having seeds with cottony hairs especially : one (Populus deltoides) of the eastern and central U.S. often cultivated for its rapid growth and luxuriant foliage

Examples of cottonwood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The mother trees are somewhere else, and the seeds have been brought in by birds (mulberries, hackberries) or the wind (cottonwoods, willows and box elders). Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Volunteering is great but 'volunteer' plants are a whole different story," 1 June 2018 Yet those elegant towering Gray pines, cottonwoods, and walnut trees that drew people to Paradise also posed an immense risk of catching on fire. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Paradise fire is catastrophic. And the wildfire threat to California is only growing.," 17 Nov. 2018 Below, the Missouri River winds through a valley of cottonwood trees. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "The New Outdoor Getaway: Landscapes That Have Been ‘Rewilded’," 20 Sep. 2018 Placerita Canyon State Park, between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Mojave Desert, is filled with sandstone formations, riparian oak woodlands, and stand of cottonwood and sycamore trees. Jill K. Robinson, San Francisco Chronicle, "Top 10 California parks: Little known wonders," 9 May 2018 The studio element floats on piers above a landscape of scrub oak, cactus, juniper, cottonwoods and a wash that flows in winter and the summer monsoon. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Coolest homes: 10 unique modern homes featured on azcentral," 21 June 2018 Several paths lead to the water, guarded by cottonwood, Arizona sycamore and bigtooth maple. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 best hikes in Arizona show off state's diverse scenery," 13 July 2018 The first logs cut were from the cottonwoods that grew in abundance along the Boise River, but fir and pine logs, floated down the river from the mountains, were straighter and easier to work with. Arthur Hart, idahostatesman, "When fires hit the area in late 19th century, brick’s foundation took hold in Boise," 16 June 2018 Sugar maples may be the stars of the show in the East, but in Arizona and beyond, aspens take center stage, supported by cottonwoods, canyon maple and ash. Catharine Hamm,, "A leaf-peeping trip to Arizona? Color yourself smart. The Grand Canyon state can be grand for fall hues," 2 July 2018

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

1802, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cottonwood was in 1802

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English Language Learners Definition of cottonwood

: a type of tree that grows in the U.S. and has seeds that look like they are covered with cotton


cot·​ton·​wood | \ ˈkä-tᵊn-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce cottonwood (audio) \

Kids Definition of cottonwood

: a poplar tree that has seeds with bunches of hairs resembling cotton

More from Merriam-Webster on cottonwood

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cottonwood Encyclopedia article about cottonwood

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