Cotton plants.



  • Gossypium, a genus of plant used as a source of cotton fiber.
  • Any plant that encases its seed in a thin fiber that is harvested and used as a fabric or cloth.
  • Any fiber similar in appearance and use to Gossypium fiber.
  • The textile made from the fiber harvested from a cotton plant, especially Gossypium.
  • An item of clothing made from cotton.




  • Middle English cotoun, from Anglo-Norman cotun, Old French coton, from (Genoese) Old Italian cotone, from Arabic قُطُن, of uncertain origin. There is no apparent semantic link between the Arabic word and the root , leading to suggestions that it is a corruption of another word, such as كَتّان or (more distant phonologically) جَفْنَة. Cognate to Dutch katoen, German Kattun, Italian cotone, Spanish algodón, and Portuguese algodão.
  • 1560s, either from Welsh cydun, cytun (cyduno, cytuno), from cyd, cyt + un, literally “to be at one with”, or by metaphor with the textile, as cotton blended well with other textiles, notably wool in hat-making.

Modern English dictionary

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