from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various shrubby plants of the genus Gossypium, having showy flowers and grown for the soft white downy fibers surrounding oil-rich seeds.
  • noun The fiber of any of these plants, used in making textiles and other products.
  • noun Thread or cloth manufactured from the fiber of these plants.
  • noun Any of various soft downy substances produced by other plants, as on the seeds of a cottonwood.
  • intransitive verb To take a liking; attempt to be friendly.
  • intransitive verb To come to understand. Often used with to or onto.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To rise with a nap, like cotton.
  • To envelop in cotton; hence, to coddle; make much of.
  • noun Same as Kafir *cotton.
  • noun See cotton-weed, 3.
  • noun Same as Natal *cotton .
  • 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.
  • noun The white fibrous substance clothing the seeds of the cotton-plant (Gossypium). See cut under cotton-plant.
  • noun Cloth made of cotton.
  • noun Thread made of cotton: as, a spool of cotton contains 200 yards.
  • noun The wick of a candle.
  • noun The cotton-plant; cotton-plants collectively.
  • Made of cotton; consisting of cotton: as, cotton cloth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To rise with a regular nap, as cloth does.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To go on prosperously; to succeed.
  • intransitive verb colloq. To unite; to agree; to make friends; -- usually followed by with.
  • intransitive verb Slang To take a liking to; to stick to one as cotton; -- used with to.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The cotton plant. See Cotten plant, below.
  • noun Cloth made of cotton.
  • noun See Cambric, n., 2.
  • noun the manufactures' name for a heavy cotton fabric, twilled, and with a long plush nap. In England it is called swan's-down cotton, or Canton flannel.
  • noun a machine to separate the seeds from cotton, invented by Eli Whitney.
  • noun (Bot.) a genus of plants (Eriphorum) of the Sedge family, having delicate capillary bristles surrounding the fruit (seedlike achenia), which elongate at maturity and resemble tufts of cotton.
  • noun (Zool.) a field mouse (Hesperomys gossypinus), injurious to cotton crops.
  • noun (Bot.) a plant of the genus Gossypium, of several species, all growing in warm climates, and bearing the cotton of commerce. The common species, originally Asiatic, is Gossypium herbaceum.
  • noun a building and machinery in which cotton bales are compressed into smaller bulk for shipment; a press for baling cotton.
  • noun (Bot.) a genus of composite herbs (Filago), covered with a white substance resembling cotton.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a species of bark louse (Pulvinaria innumerabilis), which does great damage to the cotton plant.
  • noun Same as Cotton plant.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a species of hemipterous insect (Dysdercus suturellus), which seriously damages growing cotton by staining it; -- called also redbug.
  • noun (Bot.) the Scotch thistle. See under Thistle.
  • noun velvet in which the warp and woof are both of cotton, and the pile is of silk; also, velvet made wholly of cotton.
  • noun the refuse of cotton mills.
  • noun cotton in its raw or woolly state.
  • noun (Zool.) a lepidopterous insect (Aletia argillacea), which in the larval state does great damage to the cotton plant by eating the leaves. It also feeds on corn, etc., and hence is often called corn worm, and Southern army worm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun fabric woven from cotton fibers


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

[Middle English cotoun, from Old French coton, from Old Italian cotone, from Arabic quṭn, quṭun; see qṭn in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.


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