winnow out


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winnow out

v.
1. To separate some material, such as chaff, from grain by means of a current of air: The farmer winnows out the chaff with a machine. There is always some debris in the harvest, but we winnow it out.
2. To separate or get rid of some unfit or undesirable part; eliminate something or someone: The lions tend to winnow out the sick antelope. The political process will winnow the weakest candidates out.
3. To sort or select some fit or desirable part; extract someone or something: We winnowed out the top candidates from the rest and interviewed them. There are only a few good pieces of wood in this shipment, and it will take a long time to winnow them out.
4. To rid some group of unfit or undesirable members: The test winnowed out the applicant pool.
See also: out, winnow
References in periodicals archive ?
No doubt hard work has entered into the equation of his success, but it doesn't take long in his presence to winnow out one key factor: Though it may be raining in the City of Angels this day, the sun has been shining on him.
Thursday, 1:00PM (EDT) "Politics on the Dot" -- In this Presidential election year, how can the American public winnow out what is truly significant from the rush and jumble of campaign news?
INS officials blame the reversal on a relatively new procedure put into place June 30 to winnow out suspected criminals.
Thursday, 1:00PM (EDT) "Politics on the Dot" - In this presidential election year, how can the American public winnow out what is truly significant from the rush and jumble of campaign news?
Where demand drives production, iCommerce will reward partners that make process improvements and winnow out inefficiencies.