Dictionary.com

winnow

[ win-oh ]
/ ˈwɪn oʊ /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: winnow / winnowing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
to free grain from chaff by wind or driven air.
to fly with flapping wings; flutter.
noun
a device or contrivance used for winnowing.
an act of winnowing.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of winnow

before 900; Middle English win(d)wen (v.), Old English windwian, derivative of windwind1

OTHER WORDS FROM winnow

win·now·er, nounun·win·nowed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use winnow in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for winnow

winnow
/ (ˈwɪnəʊ) /

verb
to separate (grain) from (chaff) by means of a wind or current of air
(tr) to examine in order to select the desirable elements
(tr) archaic to beat (the air) with wings
(tr) rare to blow upon; fan
noun
  1. a device for winnowing
  2. the act or process of winnowing

Derived forms of winnow

winnower, noun

Word Origin for winnow

Old English windwian; related to Old High German wintōn, Gothic diswinthjan, Latin ventilāre. See wind 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
FEEDBACK