- to free (grain) from the lighter particles of chaff, dirt, etc., especially by throwing it into the air and allowing the wind or a forced current of air to blow away impurities.
- to drive or blow (chaff, dirt, etc.) away by fanning.
- to blow upon; fan.
- to subject to some process of separating or distinguishing; analyze critically; sift: to winnow a mass of statements.
- to separate or distinguish (valuable from worthless parts) (sometimes followed by out): to winnow falsehood from truth.
- to pursue (a course) with flapping wings in flying.
- to fan or stir (the air) as with the wings in flying.
- to free grain from chaff by wind or driven air.
- to fly with flapping wings; flutter.
- a device or contrivance used for winnowing.
- an act of winnowing.
Origin of winnow
Examples from the Web for winnower
While the artisans fought on the barricades he was painting “The Winnower.”
The payment to the winnower is at the rate of fourpence per five bushels.The Khedive's Country
George Manville Fenn
These she placed on a winnower, which in turn was set on a rice-mortar.The Tinguian
This accomplished, the grain is freed from chaff by tossing it in a winnower.The Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao
The sale of his “Winnower” had brought him five hundred francs, and these five hundred francs gave him courage to defy the world.
- 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
- a device for winnowing
- the act or process of winnowing
Word Origin and History for winnower
Old English windwian, from wind "air in motion, paring down," see wind (n.1). Cognate with Old Norse vinza, Old High German winton "to fan, winnow," Gothic diswinþjan "to throw (grain) apart," Latin vannus "winnowing fan."