cotton (on)to (someone or something)(redirected from cottoning to)
cotton (on)to (someone or something)
1. To like someone or something; to view someone or something favorably. It takes me a while to cotton to new people—I have to get to know them first. After we explained our plan again, the rest of the group seemed to cotton onto it.
2. To begin to understand something. Thanks for explaining that concept to me—I think I'm cottoning onto it now.
See also: cotton
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cotton (on)to someone or something
Rur. to begin to like or agree to someone or something quickly. She began to cotton to Fred, despite his country ways. She cottoned onto Jane's way of thinking.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Take a liking to, get along with, as in This dog doesn't cotton to strangers. Although this verbal phrase comes from the noun for the fabric, the semantic connection between these parts of speech is unclear. [Early 1800s]
2. Also, cotton on to. Come to understand, grasp, as in She didn't really cotton on to what I was saying. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To come to understand something: I finally cottoned onto the new method.
See also: cotton
1. To take a liking to someone or something: That dog doesn't cotton to strangers.
2. To come to understand something: I finally cottoned to the new computer system.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.