cotton on

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Verb[edit]

cotton on (third-person singular simple present cottons on, present participle cottoning on, simple past and past participle cottoned on)

  1. (intransitive) To realize; come to understand.
    Synonym: glom on
    • 2019 July 30, Rowena Mason, “Dominic Cummings said Tory MPs do not care about poor people or NHS”, in The Guardian[1]:
      “That is what most people in the country have thought about the Tory party for decades. [] Tory MPs largely do not care about these poorer people. They don’t care about the NHS. And the public has kind of cottoned on to that.”

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Further reading[edit]