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cotton wool

noun
1.
cotton in its raw state, as on the boll or gathered but unprocessed.
2.
British. absorbent cotton.
Origin of cotton wool
1590-1600
1590-1600
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for cotton wool
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A few drops of the oil of Cajput on cotton wool is said to be a great relief to the tooth-ache.

  • We will pack her in cotton wool if necessary; but it will not be necessary.

    Hildegarde's Holiday Laura E. Richards
  • Plug the mouth of each tube with cotton wool, and place entire set in the incubator at 37°C. for one hour.

  • These I carefully packed in cotton wool and kept safe from the frost.

    By Canoe and Dog-Train Egerton Ryerson Young
  • Gautreau's head was swathed with cotton wool and he left the ward.

    The New Book Of Martyrs Georges Duhamel
  • Her folks was well-off and she was brought up in cotton wool, as you might say.

    Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • A very unique implement, I imagine, was a little stick of polished wood, with a tuft of cotton wool tied by a ribbon at one end.

  • We thought we could get over this difficulty by wrapping the grapnel in cotton wool.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
  • Many prefer a tuft of cotton wool rolled into a handy size, this is likewise drawn over the hair, and the rest done as before.

British Dictionary definitions for cotton wool

cotton wool

noun
1.
(mainly Brit) Also called purified cotton. bleached and sterilized cotton from which the gross impurities, such as the seeds and waxy matter, have been removed: used for surgical dressings, tampons, etc Usual US term absorbent cotton
2.
cotton in the natural state
3.
(Brit, informal)
  1. a state of pampered comfort and protection
  2. (as modifier): a cotton-wool existence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Difficulty index for cotton wool

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cotton

8
10
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