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cotton on

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phrasal verb [intransitive] informal
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theycotton on
he/she/itcottons on
present participlecottoning on
past tensecottoned on
past participlecottoned on
  1. to begin to realize or understand something

    Suddenly I cottoned on that she'd been lying from the start.

    cotton on to:

    It took him a while to cotton on to what I was saying.

See also main entry: cot·ton

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