to cotton on to

Idiom Definition

"to cotton on to"

to understand something

Idiom Definition - to cotton on to


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to cotton on to

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  What's been going on with you and your boyfriend?

Friend 2: I ended the relationship.

Friend 1:  That's too bad.

Friend 2:  He was cheating on me but I didn't realize what was going on for months.  He was avoiding my phone calls and only seeing me once a week.  He seemed distracted and not very interested in me anymore.

Friend 1:  But you finally came to understand that he was seeing another woman?

Friend 2:  Yes.  I cottoned on to that fact when I caught him kissing the other woman.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to cotton on to

Two students are talking about their calculus class ...

Student 1:  How are you doing with the calculus class?

Student 2: I'm struggling.  It's really difficult.  I don't really understand the material yet.

Student 1:  I discovered some really good practice exercises in the back of the textbook.  If you take your time and work through the exercises, you will slowly cotton on to differential equations.

Student 2:  Thanks for the tip.

to cotton on to - Usage:


to cotton on to - Gerund Form:

Cottoning on to what is really going on can be useful.

to cotton on to - Examples:

1)  I am hopeful that African governments will soon cotton on to how they are being manipulated.

2)   It's taken the DA a while to cotton on to the fact that it isn't Parliament, but the wards and municipalities that cause the problems.

3)  This explains why cats do some apparently stupid things, such as failing to cotton on to a moved litter tray even if they watched you move the litter tray.

4) He's already spotted the value for money and ROI that others are yet to cotton on to

5)  I want you to cotton on to and welcome the ambivalent feelings and desires.

6)  It took the Americans a while to cotton on to the fact that the occupants were long gone before the drones hit.

7)  I can't wait until more people cotton on to how our current government is solely working for a very small interest group.

8)  Maybe the Brits will cotton on to these other " discoveries " also soon.

9) It took so long for everyone to cotton on to the obvious. 

10) Perhaps Anwar is worried the world will cotton on to his desire to turn his family into a ruling dynasty? 

11)  Some exploit, and when I cotton on to the exploitation, I duly avoid them.

12)  Clearly the Trinidadian media, their private sector and their government were quick to cotton on to the great potential of a festival such as this

13)  At some point if we keep getting more educated, we'll eventually cotton on to their plan.

14)  As society becomes more and more visual, artists and designers might eventually cotton on to their worth.

15)  A curious and wildly irritating phenomenon, which took me a while to cotton on to is the chief belief in Singapore taxi driver lore.

16)  If your employer is at all clued up, they should already have cottoned on to the many benefits of cut-price transport and fitness options for their staff.

17)  He still hasn't cottoned on to the fact that I'm not in the least bit interested in him.

18)  I hadn't cottoned on to their lack of English.

19)  In the past year or so more and more mainstream brands have cottoned on to the growing popularity of boom-boom music.

20)  Put simply, the platform holders have cottoned on to the fact that gamers want more from their devices.