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See also: Wool


A sheep being sheared for its wool.


From Middle English wolle, from Old English wull, from Proto-Germanic *wullō (cognate with Saterland Frisian Wulle, German Low German Wull, Dutch wol, German Wolle, Norwegian ull), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wĺ̥h₁neh₂ (compare Welsh gwlân, Latin lāna, Lithuanian vìlna, Russian во́лос (vólos), Bulgarian влас (vlas), Albanian lesh (wool, hair, fleece)).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /wʊl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /wʊl/, [wʊɫ], [wɫ̩]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʊl


wool (usually uncountable, plural wools)

  1. The hair of the sheep, llama and some other ruminants.
    • 2006, Nigel Guy Wilson, Ancient Greece, page 692
      The sheep were caught and plucked, because shears had not yet been invented to cut the wool from the sheep's back.
  2. A cloth or yarn made from the wool of sheep.
    • 2009, January 12, “Mireya Navarro”, in It May Market Organic Alternatives, but Is Your Cleaner Really Greener?:
      Spielvogel said wet cleaning also has limitations; while it is fine for cottons and fabrics worn in warm climates, he said, it can damage heavy wools or structured clothes like suit jackets.
  3. Anything with a texture like that of wool.
    • 1975, Anthony Julian Huxley, Plant and Planet, page 223
      The groundsels have leaves covered in wool for insulation []
  4. A fine fiber obtained from the leaves of certain trees, such as firs and pines.
  5. (obsolete) Short, thick hair, especially when crisped or curled.
    • Shakespeare
      wool of bat and tongue of dog
  6. (Britain, New Zealand) yarn (including that which is made from synthetic fibers.)


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  1. Soft mutation of gool.