• Sir Robert Cotton. From an engraving by R. White
    Sir Robert Cotton. From an engraving by R. White
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v cotton take a liking to "cotton to something"
    • n cotton fabric woven from cotton fibers
    • n cotton thread made of cotton fibers
    • n cotton erect bushy mallow plant or small tree bearing bolls containing seeds with many long hairy fibers
    • n cotton soft silky fibers from cotton plants in their raw state
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Cotton planter, about 1895 Cotton planter, about 1895
International Harvester spindle cotton picker, 1942 International Harvester spindle cotton picker, 1942
Cotton Pickers Cotton Pickers
Cotton gin Cotton gin
Cotton Plant Cotton Plant
The Bazaar. American cotton-ship. 1832 The Bazaar. American cotton-ship. 1832

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Babies that wear disposable diapers are five times more likely to get a diaper rash than babies wearing a cotton diaper
    • Cotton 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.
    • Cotton Cloth made of cotton.
    • Cotton The cotton plant. See Cotten plant, below.
    • Cotton To go on prosperously; to succeed. "New, Hephestion, does not this matter cotton as I would?"
    • Cotton To rise with a regular nap, as cloth does. "It cottons well; it can not choose but bear
      A pretty nap."
    • Cotton To take a liking to; to stick to one as cotton; -- used with to.
    • Cotton To unite; to agree; to make friends; -- usually followed by with. "A quarrel will end in one of you being turned off, in which case it will not be easy to cotton with another.""Didst see, Frank, how the old goldsmith cottoned in with his beggarly companion?"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Over half the textile fibers that are used in the world are cotton
    • n cotton The white fibrous substance clothing the seeds of the cotton-plant (Gossypium). See cut under cotton-plant. It consists of simple delicate tubular hair-like cells, flattened and somewhat twisted. Its commercial value depends upon the length and tenacity of the fiber. It is the clothing material of a large proportion of the human race, its use dating back to a very early period. In commercial importance cotton exceeds all other staples. Great Britain ranks first in the consumption of the raw material, the United States being second, and then France. Cotton consists of nearly pure cellulose, and when acted upon by nitric acid yields a nitro-compound known as guncotton, which is a powerful explosive, and when dissolved in ether and alcohol forms collodion. Cotton is very extensively used in the manufacture of thread, and for many purposes in the arts. In surgery it is employed for many purposes, and especially as a dressing for burns, scalds, etc. See cotton-plant, Gossypium.
    • n cotton Cloth made of cotton. It was originally obtained in Europe from India, always famous for the excellence and fineness of its cotton fabrics, as in the Dacca muslins, and has long been in use throughout the East. In 1700 the importation into England was prohibited, and in 1721 fines were imposed upon the venders and wearers of cotton, because it was thought to interfere with the home manufacture of woolens and linens. Modern inventions facilitating its manufacture by machinery have built up an immense industry in Europe and the United States. See cotton-gin, spinning-jenny.
    • n cotton Thread made of cotton: as, a spool of cotton contains 200 yards.
    • n cotton The wick of a candle.
    • n cotton The cotton-plant; cotton-plants collectively.
    • cotton Made of cotton; consisting of cotton: as, cotton cloth.
    • cotton To rise with a nap, like cotton.
    • cotton To envelop in cotton; hence, to coddle; make much of.
    • cotton To agree; suit; fit or go well together.
    • cotton To become closely or intimately associated (with); acquire a strong liking (for); take (to): absolutely or with to, formerly with.
    • n cotton Same as Kafir *cotton.
    • n cotton See cotton-weed, 3.
    • n cotton Same as Natal *cotton .
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Paper money is not made from wood pulp but from cotton. This means that it will not disintegrate as fast if it is put in the laundry
    • n Cotton kot′n a soft substance like fine wool, got from the pods of the cotton-plant: cloth made of cotton
    • adj Cotton made of cotton
    • v.t Cotton to provide with cotton
    • v.i Cotton to agree: to be attached to (the connection of the intransitive meanings is unknown)
    • ***


  • Golda Meir
    “We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.”


In the tall cotton - A phrase that expresses good times or times of plenty and wealth as tall cotton means a good crop.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. coton, Sp. algodon, the cotton plant and its wool, coton, printed cotton, cloth, fr. Ar. qutun, alqutun, cotton wool. Cf. Acton Hacqueton


In literature:

In making up linen, thread is much preferable to cotton.
"The Ladies' Work-Table Book" by Anonymous
The banks and merchants refused to extend credit when cotton was no longer to be had as a security.
"Negro Migration during the War" by Emmett J. Scott
After making paper models, find a stack cover, a tarpaulin, a tent fly, an awning, or buy some wide cotton cloth, say 90-inch.
"Boy Scouts Handbook" by Boy Scouts of America
The so-called "Nankeen" cottons are said to be "Colour variations" of the herbaceous Cotton plant.
"The Story of the Cotton Plant" by Frederick Wilkinson
She was a tidy-looking woman, wearing black trousers bound tight round the ankles, and the usual blue cotton smock.
"The Little Girl Lost" by Eleanor Raper
The alluvial land easily raises twice the cotton, and that of a better quality, commanding about a cent a pound more in the market.
"The Negro Farmer" by Carl Kelsey
Arkwright's invention quickly gave a great impetus to the cotton industry.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13" by Various
The cotton schedule will go through as I have it outlined.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
These patterns are now being printed in England on scores of cotton curtains for beds and windows.
"Needlework As Art" by Marian Alford
We left the cotton country in Mississippi, but nobody knew anything about cotton out here that I knew of.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration

In poetry:

She was only a farmer’s daughter,
Dressed in a cotton gown,
One day she grew tired of cowslips
And ran up to London Town.
"Limehouse Liz (Of Lambeth)" by T W Connor
There builds her nest the humming-bird,
Within the ancient wood —
Her nest of silky cotton down —
And rears her tiny brood.
"The Humming-Bird" by Mary Botham Howitt
Look, here's a fan
From far Japan,
A sabre from Damasco:
There's shawls ye get
From far Thibet,
And cotton prints from Glasgow.
"The Crystal Palace" by William Makepeace Thackeray
KING COTTON looks from his window
Towards the westering sun,
And he marks, with an anguished horror,
That his race is almost run.
"King Cotton" by Horatio Alger Jr
When the master of this place was Joe
And cotton king of crops,
I've seen the white and red blooms blow
On miles of my sunny tops.
"Joe's Farm" by Samuel Alfred Beadle
Is it the sweat from every pore
That starts, and glistens in the sun,
As, the young cotton bending o'er,
His naked back it shines upon?
"The Chain" by John Pierpont

In news:

I plunged a cotton ball into a vase of water and held it there for a few seconds.
Texas growers have tool to control cotton root rot.
A strong cotton and linen fabric.
Research suggests that animals such as these cotton-top tamarin monkeys cannot master the more complex grammars that are central to human language.
Gaia collection cotton-rayon pleated velvets by Bart Halpern, 212-414-2727.
Now chemists have infused cotton gauze with nanoparticles, giving it a vastly improved ability to halt blood loss -- even in tight spots like the neck or groin where it's hard to apply pressure.
Several products have been commercialized using GE techniques including insect-resistant varieties of cotton and corn, herbicide-tolerant soybean, corn, canola, and alfalfa, and virus-resistant papaya and squash.
A portrait of George Washington hangs on the wall of Cottone Auctions in Geneseo, N.Y.
The 2012 Western Ginner School is set for May 8-10, Las Cruces, N.M. National Cotton Ginners' Assoc.
Hettie, Martha and Louisa ginning cotton, 1936.
Last week we watched Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops give out game balls about as fast asn Damien Williams could run 95 yards down the Cotton Bowl field.
As a kid glued to the screen in the late '50s and early '60s, I never cottoned to his '40s box-office rival, Roy Rogers.
Cotton and grain sorghum weathered an early October freeze better than many observers feared.
Sequined cotton dress, Michael Michael Kors, $150.
Great-grandmother was queen of the Cotton Ball.

In science:

Increasing the field of view may require to transition from Davies-Cotton or parabolic telescope optics to Cassegrain optics.
White Paper on the Status and Future of Ground-based Gamma-ray Astronomy
P(∇sWsrty ⊗ g ) stands for a linear combination of a tensor product of the three-tensor ∇sWsqty (i.e. essentially the Cotton tensor) with an un-contracted metric tensor.
The decomposition of Global Conformal Invariants I: On a conjecture of Deser and Schwimmer
Mandelbrot [132] studied the cotton price changes and found that: (i) The histograms of price changes are too peaked relative to Gaussian distributions; and (ii) the tails of the distributions of the cotton price changes are so extraordinarily long that it may be reasonable to assume that the second moment is infinite.
Parametric and nonparametric models and methods in financial econometrics
Mandelbrot [132] further argued that a good alternative model for cotton price changes is the stable distribution with index 1.7, pioneering the approach of modeling financial data using L´evy processes.
Parametric and nonparametric models and methods in financial econometrics
For example, Mandelbrot [132] finds that cotton price changes have heavy tails relative to normal distributions.
Parametric and nonparametric models and methods in financial econometrics