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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.
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noun
  1. act of culling.
  2. something culled, especially something picked out and put aside as inferior.
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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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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

gleanwinnowplucksiftextractselectamasscollectdiscriminatepreferchoosemarktakeelectthinaccumulategarner

Examples from the Web for culling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "I am culling a souvenir, madame," said he, plucking a moss-ross as the lady passed.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • So disposal by sale is a logical and profitable way of culling.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • Then Culling crossed the room, and sat on the arm of the Seraph's chair.

    The Sixth Sense

    Stephen McKenna

  • Culling exclaimed, jumping up and cramming his hat on the back of his head.

    The Sixth Sense

    Stephen McKenna

  • Outside in the hall Culling added his contribution to the general apology.

    The Sixth Sense

    Stephen McKenna


British Dictionary definitions for culling

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
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noun
  1. the act or product of culling
  2. an inferior animal taken from a herd or group
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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 culling

cull

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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper