Definition of boll in US English:

boll

noun

  • The rounded seed capsule of plants such as cotton or flax.

    • ‘Sterile flowers soon fall off the plant without forming the bolls that are the source of cotton textile fibers.’
    • ‘By maturity, the mutant seeds had only produced a few short fibres and the seeds were visible from the mature cotton bolls.’
    • ‘High temperatures during this stage of cotton development caused excessive abortion of bolls and seed embryos.’
    • ‘According to Shurley and Bednarz, peak maturity of a cotton boll occurs at its opening.’
    • ‘Cotton bolls are dry fruits from which we harvest cotton fibers.’
    • ‘‘I work on the coolest stuff,’ said Wendel, picking up a cotton boll lying on his desk.’
    • ‘Cotton bolls burst forth with all the bright colors of the rainbow.’
    • ‘Total boll numbers and seed cotton mass per metre were recorded.’
    • ‘Every one of these materials and creatures bears the mark of anthropogenic selection, from cotton bred for large bolls to flowers selected for their showy display.’
    • ‘The last thing for listeners to decide on was how to get the cotton bolls all opening at the same time, and the leaves dropping off the bush, so as to be able to pick the crop efficiently.’
    • ‘Generally, the ovaries of the flowers and the rinds of the cotton bolls, which are favoured by the bollworm, contained the least amount of toxin, while leaves contained the highest levels.’
    • ‘But we're having real problems getting the bolls to open, and the leaf off to a lesser extent.’
    • ‘Today, it's not the boll weevil but the pink bollworm that threatens southwestern Pima, nesting inside the bolls, where it is hard to get.’
    • ‘The pink bollworm is a major cotton pest which invades the growing cotton bolls and destroys both the seeds and the cotton fibers.’
    • ‘In its adult, or moth, stage, the pink bollworm lays its eggs on cotton bolls.’
    • ‘Fingers or brushes strip plant parts and cotton bolls from the plant, thus picking up excess trash.’
    • ‘Additional labor allows the initiation of cotton harvest to begin 2 weeks later, which leads to more open bolls.’
    • ‘Another redhead came and both of them widened their eyes in unison, looking more and more like two bolls of cotton, when they saw me.’
    • ‘Weeds also compete for nutrients, sunshine and moisture with the crop, hence the remaining plant delayed after thinning becomes leggy, failing to develop bolls.’
    • ‘A tiny cotton boll harvested from a field ends up in a 500-pound bale that is shipped to textile mills or traded on the world market.’

Origin

Middle English (originally denoting a bubble): from Middle Dutch bolle ‘rounded object’; related to bowl.

Pronunciation

boll

/boʊl//bōl/