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Word of the Day
Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Definitions for winnow

  1. to separate or distinguish (valuable from worthless parts) (sometimes followed by out): to winnow falsehood from truth.
  2. 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.
  3. to drive or blow (chaff, dirt, etc.) away by fanning.

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Citations for winnow
Whoever decides to crash the unabridged dictionary game next--and it will probably be General Motors or Ford--they will winnow this work heartlessly for bloopers. Kurt Vonnegut, “The Latest Word,” New York Times, October 30, 1966
A six-man jury, working four days, winnowed the colossal collection down to the "happy few" now on exhibit. , "Colossal Collection of Art," Life, January 27, 1958
Origin of winnow
Winnow comes from the Old English term windwian, which means "to fan." It entered English before 900.
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