verb (used without object)
- to become fond of; begin to like.
- to approve of; agree with: to cotton to a suggestion.
- to come to a full understanding of; grasp: More and more firms are cottoning on to the advantages of using computers.
Origin of cotton
Related formshalf-cot·ton, adjectivesem·i·cot·ton, nounun·cot·toned, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for cotton to (1 of 3)
verb (intr, preposition) US and Canadian informal
British Dictionary definitions for cotton to (2 of 3)
- a cloth or thread made from cotton fibres
- (as modifier)a cotton dress
Derived Formscottony, adjective
Word Origin for cotton
British Dictionary definitions for cotton to (3 of 3)
Culture definitions for cotton to
To take a liking to someone or something: “I was afraid Janet wouldn't like my brother, but she cottoned to him immediately.”
Idioms and Phrases with cotton to
Take a liking to, get along with, as in This dog doesn't cotton to strangers. Although this verbal phrase comes from the noun for the fabric, the semantic connection between these parts of speech is unclear. [Early 1800s]
Also, cotton on to. Come to understand, grasp, as in She didn't really cotton on to what I was saying. [Colloquial; early 1900s]