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To remove one or multiple undesirable people or things from a group. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weed" and "out." The military uses stringent standards to weed out unqualified enlistees. We need to weed all of these bugs out before we go live.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.