noun, often attributive
\ˈwu̇l \

Definition of wool 

1 : the soft wavy or curly usually thick undercoat of various hairy mammals and especially the sheep made up of a matrix of keratin fibers and covered with minute scales

2 : a product of wool especially : a woven fabric or garment of such fabric

3a : a dense felted pubescence especially on a plant : tomentum

b : a filamentous mass usually used in combination — compare mineral wool, steel wool

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Synonyms for wool


coat, fleece, fur, hair, jacket, pelage, pile

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Examples of wool in a Sentence

She doesn't like wool because it can be itchy. the wool from cashmere goats is considered by many to be the finest available

Recent Examples on the Web

For less formal events and dinners, pair a darker wool or tweed jacket with a crisp pair of lighter slacks. Tucker Westbrook, Town & Country, "14 Style Lessons I Learned From JFK," 5 July 2018 Or try Calvin Klein x Pendleton’s wool, and Elder Statesman’s cashmere-striped blankets for some live music under the stars. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "17 Chic Towels and Blankets for Beach Getaways and Park Picnics," 16 June 2018 They're made from a merino wool and cotton blend that is the best possible combination of a sweater and more casual jumper. Michael Williams, GQ, "These Are the New Dad Status Symbols to Buy This Father’s Day," 13 June 2018 Some of my earliest memories of sports involve watching his teams practice, the cold air of the rink penetrating my sinuses and (almost) blotting out the smell of leather and wool and the unique stench that is hockey’s own. Charles P. Pierce, SI.com, "Larry Bird, Wayne Gretzky and My Favorite Day as a Sportswriter," 22 May 2018 Also, pick fabrics like merino wool that are anti-wrinkle, dry quickly and don’t retain smells. Jada Yuan, New York Times, "How Do You Pack for a Yearlong Trip?," 27 June 2018 Pointing to a section of the north wall overlooking the river, Sharma said that workers had recently applied the clay mixture known as fuller's earth, traditionally used as a bleaching agent to absorb oil and grease from sheep's wool. Shashank Bengali, latimes.com, "How air pollution, a dying river and swarms of defecating insects threaten the Taj Mahal," 22 May 2018 Stoll, a local handbag and jewelry designer partial to leather, linen, wood, wool felt and raw metals, opened her namesake studio-cum-shop in May. Her brand’s modern minimalist designs, with an organic bent, are spot-on for Wine Country living. SFChronicle.com, "25 ways to chase your perfect Bay Area summer," 11 July 2018 Icebreaker’s ultralight wool undies won out because of consistency. Kassondra Cloos, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Active Outdoor Underwear," 6 July 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wool

Middle English wolle, from Old English wull; akin to Old High German wolla wool, Latin vellus fleece, lana wool

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Statistics for wool

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for wool

The first known use of wool was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wool



English Language Learners Definition of wool

: the soft, thick hair of sheep and some other animals

: cloth or clothing made of wool

: long, thick thread made of wool and used for knitting


\ˈwu̇l \

Kids Definition of wool

1 : soft wavy or curly usually thick hair especially of the sheep

2 : a substance that looks like a mass of wavy hair steel wool

3 : a material (as yarn) made from wool

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Comments on wool

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a state of commotion or excitement

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