Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

cull the herd

1. Literally, to separate or remove (and usually kill) inferior animals out of a herd so as to reduce numbers or remove undesirable traits from the group as a whole. We had to quickly cull the herd when it came to light that some cows might be carrying an infectious disease.
2. By extension, to separate or remove people from a larger group. With so many people applying for a limited number of jobs, employers have had to cull the herd by introducing much stricter criteria and a more elaborate application for hiring. Universities have long used standardized test results as a means of culling the herd of applicants they receive each year.
See also: cull, herd

cull (someone or something) out of (something)

To remove someone or something from a group. We were so determined to win the science bowl that we culled everyone who seemed susceptible to stage fright out of the team.
See also: cull, of, out

cull someone or something out of something

 and cull someone or something out
to eliminate someone or something from a group. We will cull the older pigeons out from the flock. They culled out the slower runners from the team.
See also: cull, of, out


n. a socially unacceptable person. This place is so filled with culls! Let’s split.
References in periodicals archive ?
The BVA said it still supported badger culling as part of a comprehensive strategy to tackle tuberculosis in cattle, which can pick up the disease from the wild animals, and the roll-out of culling to new areas, but said the culls should only use cage trapping and shooting.
The Canberra kangaroo cull was scheduled to end on Aug 1, 2014.
Those against the cull say the PS1million spent on policing just the first six weeks of culling in Gloucestershire could have secured five years of volunteer-led badger vaccination over a similarly large area.
Prof Rosie Woodroffe, a key member of the team that conducted an earlier, decadelong trial of badger culling, said following the trial: "It's very likely that so far this cull will have increased the TB risk for cattle inside the Gloucestershire cull zone rather than reducing it.
Shameful "Now that this shameful badger cull shambles can be seen, it's time to proceed with the only strategy that can succeed in the eradication of bovine TB - vaccination of badgers and other wildlife, and the prioritisation of work to licence the vaccine for cattle.
It said: "We therefore considered that consumers were likely to interpret the claim, along with the text 'The UK government wants to shoot England's badgers', to mean that all badgers would be eradicated in the cull areas.
We understand that the cull company in Gloucestershire will also be applying for a licence extension to Natural England today.
May, a long-time supporter of the campaign to spare badgers, said: "It has now been demonstrated that the cull cannot make economic sense.
Led by rock star Brian May, the 2,000 animal welfare supporters wore cardboard badger masks and chanted "stop the cull" in protest at pilot culls in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset.
The online petition against the cull has received over 190,000 signatures so far.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is expected to make a Commons statement later on Tuesday confirming that a pilot cull in the South West of England is to be put back until next year.
The scientists who conducted the cull stated at the end of the trial that killing badgers can make no meaningful contribution to reducing bTB.
Costing only pounds 51 per hectare, The Trust wants the Government and landowners to take badger vaccination seriously as a viable alternative to the proposed cull.
They studied a treatment area (9,496 acres) where intensive culling was applied, and a control area of similar size (9,429 acres) where they did not cull any bucks.
But that's what I got when I wrote to Jonathan Morgan AM for Cardiff North, regarding the proposed cull of badgers in Wales.