or wool·y

[woo l-ee]
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adjective, wool·li·er, wool·li·est.
  1. consisting of wool: a woolly fleece.
  2. resembling wool in texture or appearance: woolly hair.
  3. clothed or covered with wool or something resembling it: a woolly caterpillar.
  4. Botany. covered with a pubescence of long, soft hairs resembling wool.
  5. like the rough, vigorous atmosphere of the early West in America: wild and woolly.
  6. fuzzy; unclear; disorganized: woolly thinking.
noun, plural wool·lies.
  1. Western U.S. a wool-bearing animal; sheep.
  2. Usually woollies. a knitted undergarment of wool or other fiber.
  3. any woolen garment, as a sweater.
  4. Dialect. a dust ball.

Origin of woolly

First recorded in 1580–90; wool + -y1
Related formswool·li·ness, noun

Regional variation note

10. See dust ball.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for woolly


sometimes US wooly

adjective woollier or woolliest or sometimes US woolier or wooliest
  1. consisting of, resembling, or having the nature of wool
  2. covered or clothed in wool or something resembling it
  3. lacking clarity or substancewoolly thinking
  4. botany covered with long soft whitish hairswoolly stems
  5. US recalling the rough and lawless period of the early West of America (esp in the phrase wild and woolly)
noun plural woollies or sometimes US woolies
  1. (often plural) a garment, such as a sweater, made of wool or something similar
  2. Western US and Australian (usually plural) an informal word for sheep
Derived Formswoollily, adverbwoolliness, 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