• synonyms

cotton grass

  1. any rushlike plant constituting the genus Eriophorum, of the sedge family, common in swampy places and bearing spikes resembling tufts of cotton.
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Origin of cotton grass

First recorded in 1590–1600; so called from its cottonlike heads
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cotton grass

Historical Examples

  • The foam rested in flakes on the rushes where it hung and fluttered like tufts of cotton-grass.

    In the Roar of the Sea

    Sabine Baring-Gould

  • The cup had an inwardly reflected rim, was made of stems of cotton-grass, and was well insulated with 15 mm of down feathers.

  • The third nest, containing six fresh eggs, was at the edge of a clump of cotton-grass and was exposed from directly above.

  • Many attempts have been made to spin the silky threads of the Cotton-grass which grows abundantly on the Scotch lowlands.

    The Romance of Plant Life

    G. F. Scott Elliot

  • A child presented me with a bunch of cotton-grass, gathered on the moors not far from the Roman-Wall.

British Dictionary definitions for cotton grass

cotton grass

  1. any of various N temperate and arctic grasslike bog plants of the cyperaceous genus Eriophorum, whose clusters of long silky hairs resemble cotton tuftsAlso called: bog cotton
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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