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Webster 1913 Edition


Cotton

Cot′ton

(kŏt′t’n)
,
Noun.
[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.
2.
The cotton plant. See
Cotten plant
, below.
3.
Cloth made of cotton.
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.
Cotton cambric
.
See
Cambric
,
Noun.
, 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
(Zool.)
,
a species of bark louse (
Pulvinaria innumerabilis
), which does great damage to the cotton plant.
Cotton shrub
.
Same as Cotton plant.
Cotton stainer
(Zool.)
,
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
.

Cot′ton

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To rise with a regular nap, as cloth does.
[Obs.]
It
cottons
well; it can not choose but bear
A pretty nap.
Family of Love.
2.
To go on prosperously; to succeed.
[Obs.]
New, Hephestion, does not this matter
cotton
as I would?
Lyly.
3.
To unite; to agree; to make friends; – usually followed by with.
[Colloq.]
A quarrel will end in one of you being turned off, in which case it will not be easy to
cotton
with another.
Swift.
Didst see, Frank, how the old goldsmith
cottoned
in with his beggarly companion?
Sir W. Scott.
4.
To take a liking to; to stick to one as cotton; – used with to.
[Slang]

Webster 1828 Edition


Cotton

COTTON

,
Noun.
1.
A soft downy substance, resembling fine wool, growing in the capsules or pods of a shrub, called the cotton-plant. It is the material of a large proportion of cloth for apparel and furniture.
2.
Cloth made of cotton.
Lavender-cotton, a genus of plants, Santolina, of several species; shrubs cultivated in gardens. One species, the chamoecyparyssus or abrotanum foemina, female southernwood, is vulgarly called brotany.
Philosophic cotton, flowers of zink, which resemble cotton.
Silk-cotton tree, a genus of plants, the Bombax, growing to a great size in the Indies, and producing a kind of cotton in capsules.

COTTON

,
Adj.
Pertaining to cotton; made of cotton; consisting of cotton; as cotton cloth; cotton stockings.

COTTON

, v.i.
1.
To rise with a nap.
2.
To cement; to unite with; a cant word.

Definition 2022


Cotton

Cotton

See also: cotton

English

Proper noun

Cotton

  1. The name of several settlements around the world
  2. A habitational surname.

Etymology 2

Hebrew קָתָן (katan, small)

Proper noun

Cotton

  1. A surname.

cotton

cotton

Cotton plants.
See also: Cotton

English

Pronunciation

Noun

cotton (usually uncountable, plural cottons)

  1. A plant that encases its seed in a thin fiber that is harvested and used as a fabric or cloth.
  2. Gossypium, a genus of plant used as a source of cotton fiber.
  3. (textiles) The textile made from the fiber harvested from the cotton plant.
  4. (countable) An item of clothing made from cotton.
Derived terms
Translations

Adjective

cotton (not comparable)

  1. Made of cotton.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 2, in The China Governess:
      Now that she had rested and had fed from the luncheon tray Mrs. Broome had just removed, she had reverted to her normal gaiety.  She looked cool in a grey tailored cotton dress with a terracotta scarf and shoes and her hair a black silk helmet.
Translations

Etymology 2

1560s, either from Welsh cydun, cytun (agree, coincide) (cyduno, cytuno), from cyd, cyt + un (one), literally “to be at one with”, or by metaphor with the textile, as cotton blended well with other textiles, notably wool in hat-making.[1][2][3]

Verb

cotton (third-person singular simple present cottons, present participle cottoning, simple past and past participle cottoned)

  1. To get on with someone or something; to have a good relationship with someone.
    • 1873, All the Year Round, page 286:
      I want to tell you the Dukes, both mother and son, are cottoning to her fast enough
    • 2009 March 21, Farhad Manjoo, “A Conference That Starts on Time and Stays on Schedule”, in The New York Times:
      The conference — Mr. Allen’s first gathering, and, depending on the economic outlook, maybe his last — brought together entrepreneurs, techies, writers and even some middle managers who’ve cottoned on to his ideas.
Translations
Usage notes

Generally used with prepositions on, to; see cotton on, cotton to.

Derived terms

References

  1. 1 2 cotton” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  2. Take Our Word For It: Issue 178, page 2
  3. Folk-etymology: a dictionary of verbal corruptions or words perverted in form or meaning, by false derivation or mistaken analogy, Abram Smythe Palmer, G. Bell and Sons, 1882, p. 76