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weed someone or something out
Fig. to remove someone or something unwanted or undesirable from a group or collection. (Fig. on removing weeds from the soil.) We had to weed the less productive workers out one by one. The auditions were held to weed out the actors with the least ability. I'm going through my books to weed out those that I don't need anymore.
weed out somebody/somethingalso weed somebody/something out
to remove someone or something not wanted The school needs to weed out wasteful spending. You need to be able to weed people out if they can't do a good job.
Eliminate as inferior, unsuited, or unwanted, as in She was asked to weed out the unqualified applicants. This expression transfers removing weeds from a garden to removing unwanted elements from other enterprises. [First half of 1500s]
1. To remove some weeds: We weeded out the clover. The gardener weeded the dandelions out.
2. To separate or get rid of some unfit or undesirable part; eliminate someone or something: The interviewers weeded out most of the applicants. The coach weeded the weaker players out.