Meaning of COTTON in English


I. ˈkät ə n noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English coton, from Middle French, from Arabic dialect quṭun, from Arabic quṭn

1. : a soft fibrous usually white substance that clothes the seeds of various plants especially of the genus Gossypium, is composed of unicellular hairs forming fine twisted fibers from 1/2 inch to over 2 inches long when mature, and is used extensively in the making of threads, yarns, and fabrics

2. : any plant of the genus Gossypium characterized by an erect and freely branching habit, alternate lobed leaves, and large creamy white or yellow flowers that soon turn red and are subtended by a cup-shaped involucre and produce a capsular fruit that bursts open when ripe thereby exposing the seeds and attached hairs — see sea island cotton , upland cotton


a. : a fabric made of cotton

b. : a garment made of cotton


a. : any of the various yarns spun from the short carded fiber and the long combed fiber of cotton

b. : any of the various hard-twisted or loose-twisted threads of cotton used for sewing, embroidery, and crocheting

5. : any downy substance resembling cotton produced by such plants as the silk-cotton tree and cottonwood

6. : a woolen fabric resembling frieze and made in England in the 16th and 17th centuries

7. : cellulose nitrate 2

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cotton: 1 flowering branch; 2 fruit, unopened; 3 fruit, partly opened


II. verb

( cottoned ; cottoned ; cottoning -t( ə )niŋ ; cottons )

Etymology: Middle English cotonen, from coton, n.

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to furnish with a down or nap

2. : to wrap as if in cotton : coddle

intransitive verb

1. obsolete

a. : to rise with a nap

b. : to go on prosperously : develop well : succeed


a. : to harmonize in action or association : agree

b. : to make friends : fraternize

a quarrel will end in one of you being turned off, in which case it will not be easy to cotton with another — Jonathan Swift

3. : to become attached by or as if by personal liking : take — used with to

he rather cottons to the idea — John Galsworthy

4. : understand , perceive , tumble — used with to or on to

could cotton on to the fact that it was my car — Nigel Balchin

5. : to curry favor : toady

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.