1a soft white fibrous substance that surrounds the seeds of a tropical and subtropical plant and is used as textile fiber and thread for sewing:a cargo of cotton and wheata white cotton blousean Indian hammock woven in colored cottons
a thread of cotton fiber.
North American absorbent cotton.
2 (also cotton plant) the plant that is commercially grown for cotton products. Oil and a protein-rich flour are also obtained from the seeds.
Genus Gossypium, family Malvaceae: many species and forms, including G. barbadense, which is grown in the southern US
[no object] informal
1 (cotton on) begin to understand:he cottoned on to what I was trying to say
2 (cotton to) North American have a liking for:his rivals didn’t cotton to all the attention he was getting
late Middle English: from Old French coton, from Arabic ḳuṭn