winnow from (something)

(redirected from winnowed from)

winnow from (something)

1. To use a current of wind or air to separate grain from chaff. A noun or pronoun, especially "grain," is used between "winnow" and "from." The revolutionary new machine promises to winnow grain from chaff much more efficiently. Before they had mechanical means, farmers had to rely on the wind to winnow chaff and other debris away.
2. To select the most capable, desirable, or viable persons or things from a group, discarding the rest. A noun or pronoun is used between "winnow" and "from." The grueling nature of these exams in meant to winnow the best or most serious medical students from those who don't have what it takes to succeed. The committee will winnow the strongest applications from weakest.
See also: winnow
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
In due time, the field in which my forefathers grew was gathered, the seed winnowed from the chaff and collected in casks, when the whole company was shipped for Ireland.
Now the chaff and straw are winnowed from the grain.
That list will be winnowed from 80 possibles: Five previous candidates not elected on earlier ballots and 75 builders, distributors, or engineers that have been suggested as prospective candidates.
But a six-hour-long test observation made last September turned up three dozen potential high-redshift quasars, which were winnowed from several hundred thousand other objects on the basis of their unusual colors.