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

  • n. The dense, soft, often curly hair forming the coat of sheep and certain other mammals, such as the goat and alpaca, consisting of cylindrical fibers of keratin covered by minute overlapping scales and much valued as a textile fabric.
  • n. A material or garment made of this hair.
  • n. The furry hair of some insect larvae, such as the caterpillar.
  • n. A filamentous or fibrous covering or substance suggestive of the texture of true wool.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The hair of the sheep, llama and some other ruminants.
  • n. A cloth or yarn made from the wool of sheep.
  • n. Anything with a texture like that of wool.
  • adj. this sense?) Made of wool.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The soft and curled, or crisped, species of hair which grows on sheep and some other animals, and which in fineness sometimes approaches to fur; -- chiefly applied to the fleecy coat of the sheep, which constitutes a most essential material of clothing in all cold and temperate climates.
  • n. Short, thick hair, especially when crisped or curled.
  • n. A sort of pubescence, or a clothing of dense, curling hairs on the surface of certain plants.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pull the hair of, in sport or anger; rumple or tousle the hair of.
  • n.
  • n. See the extract.
  • n. The fine, soft, curly hair which forms the fleece or fleecy coat of the sheep and some other animals, as the goat and alpaca, in fineness approaching fur.
  • n. The fine, short, thick underfur or down of any animal, as distinguished from the longer and stiffer hairs which come to the surface of the pelage.
  • n. The short, crisp, curly or kinky hair of the head of some persons, as negroes; humorously, the hair of any person's head.
  • n. Any light, downy, fleecy, or flocculent sub stance resembling wool.

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

  • n. fiber sheared from animals (such as sheep) and twisted into yarn for weaving
  • n. a fabric made from the hair of sheep
  • n. outer coat of especially sheep and yaks


Middle English wolle, from Old English wull.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English wolle, from Old English wull, from Proto-Germanic *wullō (cf. Dutch wol, German Wolle, Norwegian ull), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wĺ̥h₁neh₂ (cf. Welsh gwlân, Latin lāna, Lithuanian vìlna, Russian волос (volоs), Bulgarian влас (vlas), Albanian lesh ("wool, hair, fleece")). (Wiktionary)



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  • "The strychnine - he had ironically put some ice in it - tasted sweet, rather like cassis; it provided a species of subliminal stimulus, faintly perceived: the Consul, who was still standing, was aware too of a faint feeble wooling of his pain..."

    - Lowry, Under the Volcano

    June 25, 2011