- the fine, soft, curly hair that forms the fleece of sheep and certain other animals, characterized by minute, overlapping surface scales that give it its felting property.
- fabrics and garments of such wool.
- yarn made of such wool.
- any of various substances used commercially as substitutes for the wool of sheep or other animals.
- any of certain vegetable fibers, as cotton or flax, used as wool, especially after preparation by special process (vegetable wool).
- any finely fibrous or filamentous matter suggestive of the wool of sheep: glass wool; steel wool.
- any coating of short, fine hairs or hairlike processes, as on a caterpillar or a plant; pubescence.
- Informal. the human hair, especially when short, thick, and crisp.
- all wool and a yard wide, genuine; excellent; sincere: He was a real friend, all wool and a yard wide.
- dyed in the wool, inveterate; confirmed: a dyed in the wool sinner.
- pull the wool over someone's eyes, to deceive or delude someone: The boy thought that by hiding the broken dish he could pull the wool over his mother's eyes.
Origin of wool
- the outer coat of sheep, yaks, etc, which consists of short curly hairs
- yarn spun from the coat of sheep, etc, used in weaving, knitting, etc
- cloth or a garment made from this yarn
- (as modifier)a wool dress
- any of certain fibrous materialsglass wool; steel wool
- informal short thick curly hair
- a tangled mass of soft fine hairs that occurs in certain plants
- dyed in the wool confirmed in one's beliefs or opinions
- pull the wool over someone's eyes to deceive or delude someone
Word Origin for wool
Old English wull, from Proto-Germanic *wulno (cf. Old Norse ull, Old Frisian wolle, Middle Dutch wolle, Dutch wol, Old High German wolla, German wolle, Gothic wulla), from PIE *wele- (cf. Sanskrit urna; Avestan varena; Greek lenos "wool;" Latin lana "wool," vellus "fleece;" Old Church Slavonic vluna, Russian vulna, Lithuanian vilna "wool;" Middle Irish olann, Welsh gwlan "wool"). Figurative expression pull the wool over (someone's) eyes is recorded from 1839, American English.
all wool and a yard wide
Genuine, not fake; of excellent quality; also, honorable. For example, You can count on Ned—he's all wool and a yard wide. This metaphorical term alludes to a length of highly valued pure-wool cloth that measures exactly a yard (and not an inch less). [Late 1800s]
see all wool and a yard wide; pull the wool over someone's eyes.