[woo l-gath-er-ing]


indulgence in idle fancies and in daydreaming; absentmindedness: His woolgathering was a handicap in school.
gathering of the tufts of wool shed by sheep and caught on bushes.

Nearby words

  1. wooler,
  2. woolf,
  3. woolf, virginia,
  4. woolfell,
  5. woolgather,
  6. woolgrower,
  7. woollcott,
  8. woollcott, alexander,
  9. woolled,
  10. woollen

Origin of woolgathering

First recorded in 1545–55; wool + gathering


[woo l-gath-er]

verb (used without object)

to engage in woolgathering.

Origin of woolgather

First recorded in 1840–50; by back formation from woolgathering

Related formswool·gath·er·er, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for woolgathering

British Dictionary definitions for woolgathering



idle or absent-minded indulgence in fantasy; daydreaming
Derived Formswoolgatherer, noun

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 woolgathering



1550s, "indulging in wandering fancies and purposeless thinking," from the literal meaning "gathering fragments of wool torn from sheep by bushes, etc." (see wool + gather).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper