Help Wordnik hunt for a million missing words by backing our Kickstarter!


from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bale of cotton; a commercial package consisting of cotton lint more or less tightly compressed, covered with bagging, and bound with ties.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Phil did not get out of its way, for he could not; but, just as the animal was rolling upon him, a great wave lifted him high on its foam-white crest and hurled him against a cotton-bale.

    Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891

  • South America sits on a cotton-bale, has a condor by her side, and at her feet are tropical fruits -- pineapples, bananas and brazil-nuts.

    Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, August, 1878

  • Nor, on the other hand, could any musketry have kept the English columns out of the cotton-bale breast-work; -- they had often in the Peninsula stormed stronger works than that, -- without faltering for artillery, musketry, or bayonet.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 24, October, 1859

  • When the time approached for the completion of the cotton-bale gunboat I moved my family down, We followed the gunboat, but our Captain stopped at so many places to take on sugar and molasses that it was soon out of sight and hearing.

    Military reminiscences of Gen. Wm. R. Boggs, C.S.A.,

  • Fortunately, I did not allow this to escape me, or I should have been called "cotton-bale Parker" to this day.

    The Romance of the Civil War

  • The cotton-bale, the stevedore¬ís hook, the saw and buck of the sawyer, the screen of the coal-screener, the mould of the moulder, the working-knife of the butcher, the ice-saw, and all the work with ice,

    Notes, 90–99

  • The cotton-bale, the stevedore¬ís hook, the saw and buck of the sawyer, the mould of the moulder, the working-knife of the butcher, the ice-saw, and all the work with ice,

    Carol of Occupations

  • A long pause precedes the last cry, 'La ilaha Illallah,' and the silence closes up on it, as the ram on the head of a cotton-bale.

    Life's Handicap

  • One great objection to the cotton-bale bulwarks was the very inflammable nature of the material, since a red-hot shot from the enemy, or a bit of blazing wadding from a gun, would set it smouldering with a dense black smoke that drove the men from their guns until the bales could be thrown overboard; thus extinguishing the fire, but exposing the men to the fire of the enemy.

    The Naval History of the United States Volume 2 (of 2)

  • Them valises was packed as tight as a compressed cotton-bale.

    Dixie Hart


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • No, no. Cotton-bales go best with sweet sauces, of course.

    November 30, 2010

  • Thanks h; I enjoyed that - one of your finer rognons.

    November 29, 2010

  • I sat on the adjacent train tracks eating traditional southern Thanksgiving food from a styrofoam clamshell next to a shed with a hand-painted sign that said "coal". The shed sat next to a pile of the same, hand-picked from the tracks. There was gravy, and juice from the greens, but nothing that would compliment a cotton-bale.

    November 28, 2010

  • My thoughts exactly, yarb.

    November 28, 2010

  • Did you find any gravy to go with them?

    November 25, 2010

  • Many years ago, on Thanksgiving Day, travelling from FL to NYC I stopped to look for a meal in Dillon, SC and happened to see dozens of +/-500-lb (weight exactly declared on attached handwritten cardboard tags) cotton-bales inside a partially burned-out rail-side warehouse I'd found while exploring. Wonderful.

    November 25, 2010