noun, often attributive
\ ˈwu̇l How to pronounce wool (audio) \

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

The Hebrew Bible mentions the rebellion, saying that before Mesha rebelled, Moab had to give Israel a yearly tribute of thousands of lambs and a vast amount of ram wool. Fox News, "Biblical war revealed on 2,800-year-old stone altar," 27 Aug. 2019 To get a sense of his result, imagine sheep in a field, except these are punk-rock sheep: Their wool has been dyed one of several colors. Quanta Magazine, "Foundations Built for a General Theory of Neural Networks," 31 Jan. 2019 The socks are made of an entirely new material, which is a proprietary combination of wool and eucalyptus fiber, and which the company calls Trino. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "Cult Shoe Brand Allbirds Steps in a New Direction: Eco-Friendly Socks," 13 Aug. 2019 So a thick rug of mohair or soft, fluffy wool can be a great choice. Washington Post, "ASK A DESIGNER: Choosing the right rug for the room," 6 Aug. 2019 The silhouette was purposefully meant to mimic that of the heavy wool coats officers wore at time, just function 100 times better. Max Berlinger, GQ, "The Best Trench Coats Are Sophisticated, Slouchy, and Classic All at the Same Time," 7 Mar. 2018 Its signature sneakers, made from Merino wool, have sold more than a million pairs around the world. Wired, "Allbirds Steps Into Apparel with Sustainable Socks," 13 Aug. 2019 For instance, common cosmetic ingredients such as lanolin (derived from sheep’s wool), gelatin (often derived from animal bones), and glycerin (which may be derived from animal fat) are not vegan, but sometimes may be created from plant sources. Claire Gillespie, SELF, "A Beginner’s Guide to Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup and Skin Care," 12 July 2019 Suzanne, a weaver, spinner and knitter, also has seen to it that the farm offers yarn made from the wool of the sheep, knitted goods including sweaters, vests, socks and blankets. Deborah Hornblow, courant.com, "Boutique Farms: Creative And Resourceful Farmers Find Their Artisanal Niche," 25 June 2019

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

17 Sep 2019

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


\ ˈwu̇l How to pronounce wool (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on wool

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wool

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wool

Spanish Central: Translation of wool

Nglish: Translation of wool for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wool for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wool

Comments on wool

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


to spread over or through

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