Cotton wool
Cotton Cot"ton (k[o^]t"t'n), n. [F. coton, Sp. algodon the cotton plant and its wool, coton printed cotton, cloth, fr. Ar. qutun, alqutun, cotton wool. Cf. {Acton}, {Hacqueton}.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster]

2. The cotton plant. See {Cotten plant}, below. [1913 Webster]

3. Cloth made of cotton. [1913 Webster]

Note: Cotton is used as an adjective before many nouns in a sense which commonly needs no explanation; as, cotton bagging; cotton cloth; cotton goods; cotton industry; cotton mill; cotton spinning; cotton tick. [1913 Webster]

{Cotton cambric}. See {Cambric}, n., 2.

{Cotton flannel}, 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}.

{Cotton gin}, a machine to separate the seeds from cotton, invented by Eli Whitney.

{Cotton grass} (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.

{Cotton mouse} (Zool.), a field mouse ({Hesperomys gossypinus}), injurious to cotton crops.

{Cotton plant} (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}.

{Cotton press}, a building and machinery in which cotton bales are compressed into smaller bulk for shipment; a press for baling cotton.

{Cotton rose} (Bot.), a genus of composite herbs ({Filago}), covered with a white substance resembling cotton.

{Cotton scale} (Zo["o]l.), a species of bark louse ({Pulvinaria innumerabilis}), which does great damage to the cotton plant.

{Cotton shrub}. Same as Cotton plant.

{Cotton stainer} (Zo["o]l.), a species of hemipterous insect ({Dysdercus suturellus}), which seriously damages growing cotton by staining it; -- called also {redbug}.

{Cotton thistle} (Bot.), the Scotch thistle. See under {Thistle}.

{Cotton velvet}, velvet in which the warp and woof are both of cotton, and the pile is of silk; also, velvet made wholly of cotton.

{Cotton waste}, the refuse of cotton mills.

{Cotton wool}, cotton in its raw or woolly state.

{Cotton worm} (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}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cotton wool — n [U] BrE 1.) a soft mass of cotton that you use especially for cleaning and protecting wounds ▪ She put some disinfectant on a piece of cotton wool and dabbed it on her cheek. 2.) wrap sb (up) in cotton wool to protect someone completely from… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Cotton wool — consists of silky fibers taken from cotton plants in their raw state. Impurities, such as seeds, are removed and the cotton is then bleached and sterilized. It is also a refined product ( absorbent cotton in U.S. usage) which has medical,… …   Wikipedia

  • cotton-wool — n Brit ABSORBENT COTTON * * * cot·ton wool (kotґən wool) raw nonabsorbent cotton, especially the absorbent form prepared by removing the cottonseed oil …   Medical dictionary

  • cotton wool — noun uncount BRITISH COTTON used for cleaning a cut on your skin or removing MAKEUP wrap someone in cotton wool BRITISH to protect someone from all the dangers or problems that could happen …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cotton wool — ► NOUN 1) Brit. fluffy wadding of a kind originally made from raw cotton, used especially for applying or removing cosmetics or bathing wounds. 2) US raw cotton …   English terms dictionary

  • cotton wool — n. 1. raw cotton ☆ 2. COTTON BATTING …   English World dictionary

  • cotton wool — noun (U) BrE 1 a soft mass of cotton that you use especially for cleaning and protecting wounds: Cotton wool pads are good for removing make up. 2 wrap sb in cotton wool to protect someone completely from the dangers, difficulties etc of life:… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • cotton wool — N UNCOUNT Cotton wool is a soft mass of cotton, used especially for applying liquids or creams to your skin. [BRIT] (in AM, use cotton) …   English dictionary

  • cotton wool — noun 1》 Brit. fluffy wadding of a kind originally made from raw cotton, used especially for cleaning the skin or bathing wounds. 2》 US raw cotton. Phrases wrap someone in cotton wool be overprotective towards someone …   English new terms dictionary

  • cotton wool — noun Cotton wool is used before these nouns: ↑pad …   Collocations dictionary

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