• synonyms


  1. a light portable bed, especially one of canvas on a folding frame.
  2. British. a child's crib.
  3. a light bedstead.
  4. Nautical. a hammocklike bed stiffened by a suspended frame.
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Origin of cot1

1625–35; < Hindi khāṭ < Prakrit khaṭṭā < Sanskrit khaṭvā; akin to Tamil kattil bedstead


  1. a small house; cottage; hut.
  2. a small place of shelter.
  3. a sheath or protective covering, as for an injured finger or toe.
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Origin of cot2

before 900; Middle English, Old English cot (neuter; cf. cote1); cognate with Old Norse kot hut; akin to cubby, cove1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for cots

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Such was the spot where the shepherds and shepherdesses of a hundred cots were now assembled.


    William Godwin

  • In a few minutes she made Marion lie down on one of the cots.

    Whispering Smith

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Suddenly she ran over to one of the cots and dropping there burst into tears.

    The Forbidden Trail

    Honor Willsie

  • Here was a big room containing twenty cots, ten on each side.

    From Farm to Fortune

    Horatio Alger Jr.

  • Will and George sat down on the edge of their cots and laughed.

British Dictionary definitions for cots


  1. a child's boxlike bed, usually incorporating vertical bars
  2. a collapsible or portable bed
  3. a light bedstead
  4. nautical a hammock-like bed with a stiff frame
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Word Origin

C17: from Hindi khāt bedstead, from Sanskrit khátvā, of Dravidian origin; related to Tamil kattil bedstead


  1. literary, or archaic a small cottage
  2. Also called: cote
    1. a small shelter, esp one for pigeons, sheep, etc
    2. (in combination)dovecot
  3. another name for fingerstall
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Word Origin

Old English cot; related to Old Norse kot little hut, Middle Low German cot


abbreviation for
  1. cotangent
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verb cots, cotting or cotted
  1. Midland English dialect to entangle or become entangled
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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

Word Origin and History for cots



"small bed," 1630s, from Hindi khat "couch, hammock," from Sanskrit khatva, probably from a Dravidian source (cf. Tamil kattil "bedstead").

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"hut, cottage;" see cote.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cots in Science


  1. Abbreviation of cotangent
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.