from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The dense, soft, often curly hair forming the coat of sheep and certain other mammals, such as the goat and alpaca, consisting of cylindrical strands of keratin covered by minute overlapping scales and much valued as a textile fiber.
  • noun Fabric or yarn made of this hair.
  • noun Hairy or downy material on a plant or animal, as on certain caterpillars.
  • noun Filamentous or fibrous material similar to the wool of a sheep or other mammal.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pull the hair of, in sport or anger; rumple or tousle the hair of.
  • noun See the extract.
  • noun The fine, soft, curly hair which forms the fleece or fleecy coat of the sheep and some other animals, as the goat and alpaca, in fineness approaching fur.
  • noun The fine, short, thick underfur or down of any animal, as distinguished from the longer and stiffer hairs which come to the surface of the pelage.
  • noun The short, crisp, curly or kinky hair of the head of some persons, as negroes; humorously, the hair of any person's head.
  • noun Any light, downy, fleecy, or flocculent sub stance resembling wool.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The soft and curled, or crisped, species of hair which grows on sheep and some other animals, and which in fineness sometimes approaches to fur; -- chiefly applied to the fleecy coat of the sheep, which constitutes a most essential material of clothing in all cold and temperate climates.
  • noun Short, thick hair, especially when crisped or curled.
  • noun (Bot.) A sort of pubescence, or a clothing of dense, curling hairs on the surface of certain plants.
  • noun wool pulled from a carcass.
  • noun See under Mineral.
  • noun (Chem.) See Zinc oxide, under Zinc.
  • noun wool pulled from a pelt, or undressed hide.
  • noun Same as Mineral wool, under Mineral.
  • noun a ball or mass of wool.
  • noun one who removes little burs, knots, or extraneous matter, from wool, or the surface of woolen cloth.
  • noun A machine for combing wool.
  • noun (Bot.) a kind of bulrush (Scirpus Eriophorum) with numerous clustered woolly spikes.
  • noun See Woolen scribbler, under Woolen, a.
  • noun (Med.) a disease, resembling malignant pustule, occurring among those who handle the wool of goats and sheep.
  • noun [Eng.] a city or town where wool used to be brought to the king's staple for sale.
  • noun One who sorts wool according to its staple, or its adaptation to different manufacturing purposes.
  • noun a person employed to wind, or make up, wool into bundles to be packed for sale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The hair of the sheep, llama and some other ruminants.
  • noun A cloth or yarn made from the wool of sheep.
  • noun Anything with a texture like that of wool.
  • adjective this sense?) Made of wool.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun fiber sheared from animals (such as sheep) and twisted into yarn for weaving
  • noun a fabric made from the hair of sheep
  • noun outer coat of especially sheep and yaks


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English wolle, from Old English wull.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English wolle, from Old English wull, from Proto-Germanic *wullō (cf. Dutch wol, German Wolle, Norwegian ull), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wĺ̥h₁neh₂ (cf. Welsh gwlân, Latin lāna, Lithuanian vìlna, Russian волос (volоs), Bulgarian влас (vlas), Albanian lesh ("wool, hair, fleece")).


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  • "The strychnine - he had ironically put some ice in it - tasted sweet, rather like cassis; it provided a species of subliminal stimulus, faintly perceived: the Consul, who was still standing, was aware too of a faint feeble wooling of his pain..."

    - Lowry, Under the Volcano

    June 25, 2011