chaff

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separate the wheat from the chaff

To separate the good or valuable from that which is inferior. Can you please separate the wheat from the chaff? I have no idea which of these old tools still work.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

separate the wheat from the chaff

Prov. to separate what is useful or valuable from what is worthless. When it comes to books, time will separate the wheat from the chaff. Good books will have lasting appeal, and the rest will be forgotten. The managers hoped that the new procedure for evaluating employees would separate the wheat from the chaff.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

separate wheat from chaff

Sort the valuable from the worthless, as in I hope we'll get a preview of the auction so we can separate the wheat from the chaff. This idiom alludes to the ancient practice of winnowing grain.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

separate the wheat from the chaff

or

separate the grain from the chaff

If you separate the wheat from the chaff or separate the grain from the chaff, you decide which things or people in a group are good or necessary, and which are not. The first two rounds of the contest separate the wheat from the chaff. Judges should not forget that when you separate the wheat from the chaff, you should try to keep the wheat. Note: You can use sort or sort out instead of separate. It's up to Wilkinson to sort out the wheat from the chaff and get the team back to the top of the table. Note: You can refer to the good or necessary things or people in a group as wheat or grain, and to the others as chaff. There's so little wheat in all this chaff. Was there rather less grain than chaff? Note: `Chaff' refers to the outer covers of wheat or other cereal which are separated from the grain by a process called winnowing. In the Bible (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17), John the Baptist uses the image of someone separating the wheat from the chaff to describe how Jesus will separate those who go to heaven from those who go to hell.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

be caught with chaff

be easily deceived.
Chaff is the husks of corn separated from the grain by threshing. Be caught with chaff has been used since the late 15th century as a metaphor for being easily fooled or trapped.
See also: caught, chaff

separate (or sort) the wheat from the chaff

distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones.
Chaff is the husks of corn or other seed separated out when the grain is winnowed or threshed. The metaphorical contrast between wheat and chaff is drawn in several passages in the Bible, for example in Matthew 3:12: ‘he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire’.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

sort out/separate the ˌwheat from the ˈchaff

separate people or things of a better quality from those of a lower quality: When all the applications came in, our first task was to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Chaff is the outer covering of the seeds of grain such as wheat, which is separated from the grain before it is used.
See also: chaff, out, separate, sort, wheat
References in classic literature ?
Two or three times he put his head into the galley and chaffed Mugridge good-naturedly, and once, this afternoon, he stood by the break of the poop and chatted with him for fully fifteen minutes.
I wouldn't have the Scotland Yarders know it for the world," he cried, dropping into his chair; "I have chaffed them so much that they would never have let me hear the end of it.
Launched in 2005, this luxury brand is the answer to chaffed knees for baby crawlers.
With Bee's Knees as part of your little tots wardrobe, they will definitely reach new heights free of chaffed knees.
The portion of wires that were chaffing against the power connection lugs were also chaffed completely through the protective chaffing pad that was protecting the wire bundle.
While Wonham reminds us that Chesnutt chaffed against the liabilities of dialect fiction and sought to escape the subgenre, dialect stories receive most of Wonham's critical and celebratory energies, potentially distending further what he calls the "awkward shape" of Chesnutt's career, especially for the less initiated reader who might not know about the dozens of non-dialect stories not considered in the volume.