Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various shrubby plants of the genus Gossypium, having showy flowers and grown for the soft white downy fibers surrounding oil-rich seeds.
  • n. The fiber of any of these plants, used in making textiles and other products.
  • n. Thread or cloth manufactured from the fiber of these plants.
  • n. The crop of these plants.
  • n. Any of various soft downy substances produced by other plants, as on the seeds of a cottonwood.
  • intransitive v. Informal To take a liking; attempt to be friendly: a dog that didn't cotton to strangers; an administration that will cotton up to the most repressive of regimes.
  • intransitive v. Informal To come to understand. Often used with to or onto: "The German bosses . . . never cottoned to such changes” ( N.R. Kleinfield).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant that encases its seed in a thin fiber that is harvested and used as a fabric or cloth.
  • n. A type of plant used as a source of cotton fiber.
  • n. The textile made from the fiber harvested from the cotton plant.
  • n. An item of clothing made from cotton.
  • adj. Made of cotton.
  • v. To get on with someone or something; to have a good relationship with someone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A soft, downy substance, resembling fine wool, consisting of the unicellular twisted hairs which grow on the seeds of the cotton plant. Long-staple cotton has a fiber sometimes almost two inches long; short-staple, from two thirds of an inch to an inch and a half.
  • n. The cotton plant. See Cotten plant, below.
  • n. Cloth made of cotton.
  • intransitive v. To rise with a regular nap, as cloth does.
  • intransitive v. To go on prosperously; to succeed.
  • intransitive v. To unite; to agree; to make friends; -- usually followed by with.
  • intransitive v. To take a liking to; to stick to one as cotton; -- used with to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The white fibrous substance clothing the seeds of the cotton-plant (Gossypium). See cut under cotton-plant.
  • n. Cloth made of cotton.
  • n. Thread made of cotton: as, a spool of cotton contains 200 yards.
  • n. The wick of a candle.
  • n. The cotton-plant; cotton-plants collectively.
  • Made of cotton; consisting of cotton: as, cotton cloth.
  • To rise with a nap, like cotton.
  • To envelop in cotton; hence, to coddle; make much of.
  • To agree; suit; fit or go well together.
  • To become closely or intimately associated (with); acquire a strong liking (for); take (to): absolutely or with to, formerly with.
  • n. Same as Kafir *cotton.
  • n. See cotton-weed, 3.
  • n. Same as Natal *cotton .

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. fabric woven from cotton fibers
  • v. take a liking to
  • n. soft silky fibers from cotton plants in their raw state
  • n. erect bushy mallow plant or small tree bearing bolls containing seeds with many long hairy fibers
  • n. thread made of cotton fibers

Etymologies

Middle English cotoun, from Old French coton, from Old Italian cotone, from Arabic quṭn, quṭun; see qṭn in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English cotoun, from Anglo-Norman cotun, from Old Italian (Genoa) cotone, from Arabic (Egypt) قطن (qúţun), (Hispano-Arab) quṭūn, variants of Arabic قُطْن (quṭn), from root *qţn, possibly originally from Ancient Egyptian. (Wiktionary)
1560s, either from Welsh cydun, cytun ("agree, coincide") (cyduno, cytuno), from cyd, cyt + un ("one"), literally “to be at one with”, or by metaphor with the textile, as cotton blended well with other textiles, notably wool in hat-making.[2][3] (Wiktionary)

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