Definition of cotton wool in English:

cotton wool

noun

mass noun
  • 1British Fluffy wadding of a kind originally made from raw cotton, used for cleaning the skin or bathing wounds.

    • ‘Play with different textures - have a box of different fabrics, such as towelling, velvet, cotton wool, a clean feather and so on.’
    • ‘Wash your eye with tepid water, using a clean piece of cotton wool or gauze for each wipe.’
    • ‘To get make-up to last for several hours, apply foundation and use a puff or clean cotton wool pad to press powder in.’
    • ‘Remove the eye shadow by gently wiping it off with a pad of clean cotton wool moistened with eye-cleansing lotion.’
    • ‘Wash the wound thoroughly then apply three times daily with a clean cotton wool ball.’
    • ‘Betty gave him cardboard boxes and cotton wool but always told him that when the bird was well, he would have to let it go.’
    • ‘Experimental subcolonies used in the small supercolony pairings were housed using nesting chambers consisting of test tubes half filled with water and plugged with cotton wool.’
    • ‘At the bottom of each well, was a petri dish containing cotton wool that would receive the experimental odors; each petri dish had a hole pierced in its lid to allow odors to permeate into the air above.’
    • ‘Spiders were briefly anesthetized by using a piece of cotton wool impregnated with three drops of ether, and placed on an adjustable mounting stand.’
    • ‘One contains a piece of gold padded with cotton wool.’
    • ‘The nurse rubbed her arm with a piece of cotton wool.’
    • ‘She pressed a ball of cotton wool against the puncture site.’
    • ‘I walked over and took the bottle and cotton wool out of her hand.’
    • ‘The sudden transition made me feel lethargic, as if I was walking through cotton wool or wading through water up to my neck.’
    • ‘Specimens were immobilized in a quartz cell with some cotton wool.’
    • ‘I have placed cotton wool on either side of it to hold it snugly in place.’
    • ‘I found some cotton wool in my bag and put some cold water on it then touched my face gently.’
    • ‘The mated female laid an egg sac about 35 days later, and this was removed and placed in a separate sterile plastic container that was closed with cotton wool.’
    • ‘When the wings were dry the moths were glued ventrally to tiny oval-shaped balls made of cotton wool.’
    • ‘Five infested plants (20 caterpillars in 10 cages on 10 leaves in total) with moist cotton wool were used as odor source.’
  • 2US Raw cotton.

Phrases

    wrap someone in cotton wool
    • Be overprotective towards someone.

      ‘wrapping ourselves in cotton wool could turn us into a bunch of scaredy cats’
      • ‘I often wonder whether I'm doing right by my children, whether their independence is at risk because I'm wrapping them in cotton wool.’
      • ‘You should be educating your children, not wrapping them in cotton wool.’
      • ‘I didn't get an explanation why I was taken off but maybe they're wrapping me in cotton wool for next week.’
      • ‘‘I can honestly thank my parents for not wrapping me in cotton wool,’ he says.’
      • ‘Boys will be boys and you can't wrap them in cotton wool.’
      • ‘How can they even enjoy being kids if we wrap them in cotton wool all the time?’
      • ‘She said he was quite small but very robust and she has to resist the temptation to wrap him in cotton wool.’
      • ‘As you may be able to tell, I would wrap her in cotton wool if I could!’
      • ‘The worst thing that can be done to these young people is to wrap them in cotton wool.’
      • ‘But don't get the idea that I wrap him up in cotton wool.’

Pronunciation

cotton wool