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[woo l-ee] /ˈwʊl i/
adjective, woollier, woolliest.
consisting of wool:
a woolly fleece.
resembling wool in texture or appearance:
woolly hair.
clothed or covered with wool or something resembling it:
a woolly caterpillar.
Botany. covered with a pubescence of long, soft hairs resembling wool.
like the rough, vigorous atmosphere of the early West in America:
wild and woolly.
fuzzy; unclear; disorganized:
woolly thinking.
noun, plural woollies.
Western U.S. a wool-bearing animal; sheep.
Usually, woollies. a knitted undergarment of wool or other fiber.
any woolen garment, as a sweater.
Dialect. a dust ball.
Also, wooly.
Origin of woolly
1580-90; wool + -y1
Related forms
woolliness, noun
Regional variation note
10. See dust ball. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for woolly
  • He doesn't attempt to camouflage it under gentler, kinder, woolly-minded language.
  • But poodles, what with those lovely woolly coats, are also particularly vulnerable to hot weather.
  • He's not attacking vegans, he's attacking woolly thinking.
  • The spines of cholla glow, their prickly malice deceptively rendered as a benign woolly aura.
  • Toby, meanwhile, is focused on a plain old brown woolly bear caterpillar.
  • The second vice is that it habitually chooses vague woolly abstract nouns rather than concrete ones.
  • My grandfather's study is carpeted with white shag, which feels woolly against my bare feet.
  • Some of the oldest known artifacts are musical instruments, carved from the femurs of bears and woolly mammoth tusks.
  • If you want to know about the life and habitat of a woolly mammoth, there is scarcely a better place to look than in its dung.
  • He tugs a woolly toque over his long hair, zips up his army-surplus jacket, and puts on his heavy leather gloves.
British Dictionary definitions for woolly


adjective woollier, woolliest (sometimes US) woolier, wooliest
consisting of, resembling, or having the nature of wool
covered or clothed in wool or something resembling it
lacking clarity or substance: woolly thinking
(botany) covered with long soft whitish hairs: woolly stems
(US) recalling the rough and lawless period of the early West of America (esp in the phrase wild and woolly)
noun (pl) woollies, (sometimes US) woolies
(often pl) a garment, such as a sweater, made of wool or something similar
(Western US & Austral) (usually pl) an informal word for sheep
Derived Forms
woollily, adverb
woolliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for woolly

wool hat

noun phrase

A rural person; a bumpkin; redneck (1828+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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