Meaning of WOOL in English


I. ˈwu̇l noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English wolle, wulle, from Old English wull; akin to Old High German wolla wool, Old Norse ull, Gothic wulla wool, Latin vellus fleece, lana wool, lanugo down, Greek lēnos wool, Sanskrit ūrṇā

1. : the soft wavy or curly hypertrophied undercoat of various hairy mammals made up of fibers consisting of linear aggregates of keratin molecules within a matrix that are distinguished from typical hairs by their covering of minute projecting scales to which the felting property of the fiber is due, saturated in its natural state with fatty and other materials (as suint, yolk), and especially developed by selective breeding in the domesticated sheep where it more or less completely replaces the primitive double coat — see blood 7, fleece 1a, 1b, spinning count



(1) : a textile fiber produced from raw wool that is characterized by absorbency, insulation, resiliency, a tendency to shrink in hot water, and ability to take and hold dyes well and that may be spun into woolen or worsted yarn or used for felt, flock, or stuffing

(2) : textile fiber from the fleece of the sheep or lamb or from the hair of the Angora or Kashmir goat, camel, alpaca, llama, or vicuna used for the first time in the making of a finished product — used as a label on products; called also virgin wool ; compare reprocessed , reused

b. : a yarn spun from such wool for weaving, knitting, or crocheting

c. : a product of wool ; especially : a woven fabric or garment of such fabric

3. : something resembling or suggesting wool in texture or appearance : a flocculent substance or mass: as

a. : a dense felted pubescence on the surface of plants : tomentum

b. : a material formed (as by shredding or melting and blowing) into a filamentous mass — usually used in combination; see lead wool , mineral wool , steel wool

c. : short thick often crisp curly hair on a human head

d. : the thick furry or hairy coat of some insects (as hairy caterpillars)

e. : the flocculent waxy secretion of some scales

4. : something that conceals the truth or impedes understanding

the cozy generalizations … were part of the same wool of self-deception — Norman Cousins

— usually used in the phrase pull the wool over one's eyes

taken for several hundred dollars by a sharper who pulled the wool over his eyes

5. : wool sponge

- all wool and a yard wide

- in one's wool

- in the wool

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

1. : to pull or tousle the hair of

2. : to treat roughly : rough up : tussle with : beat

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