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cull

[kuhl]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to choose; select; pick.
  2. to gather the choice things or parts from.
  3. to collect; gather; pluck.
noun
  1. act of culling.
  2. something culled, especially something picked out and put aside as inferior.

Origin of cull

1300–50; Middle English coilen, cuilen, cullen < Anglo-French, Old French cuillir < Latin colligere to gather; see collect1
Related formscull·er, nounout·cull, verb (used with object)o·ver·cull, verb (used with object)un·culled, adjective
Can be confusedcall caul cull

Synonyms

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2. glean, extract. 3. garner, winnow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cull

cull

verb (tr)
  1. to choose or gather the best or required examples
  2. to take out (an animal, esp an inferior one) from a herd
  3. to reduce the size of (a herd or flock) by killing a proportion of its members
  4. to gather (flowers, fruit, etc)
  5. to cease to employ; get rid of
noun
  1. the act or product of culling
  2. an inferior animal taken from a herd or group

Word Origin

C15: from Old French coillir to pick, from Latin colligere; see collect 1
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

Word Origin and History for cull

v.

c.1200, originally "put through a strainer," from Old French coillir (12c., Modern French cueillir) "collect, gather, pluck, select," from Latin colligere "gather together, collect," originally "choose, select" (see collect). Related: Culled; culling. As a noun, from 1610s.

n.

"dupe, saphead," rogues' slang from late 16c., perhaps a shortening of cullion "base fellow," originally "testicle" (from French couillon, from Old French coillon "testicle; worthless fellow, dolt," from Latin coleus, literally "strainer bag;" see cojones), though another theory traces it to Romany (Gypsy) chulai "man." Also sometimes cully, though some authorities assert cully was the canting term for "dupe" and cull was generic "man, fellow," without implication of gullibility. Cf. also gullible.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper