winnowing

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win·now

 (wĭn′ō)
v. win·nowed, win·now·ing, win·nows
v.tr.
1. To separate the chaff from (grain) by means of a current of air.
2. To blow (chaff) off or away.
3. To examine closely in order to separate the good from the bad; sift: The judges winnowed a thousand essays down to six finalists.
4.
a. To separate or get rid of (an undesirable part); eliminate: winnowing out the errors in logic.
b. To sort or select (a desirable part); extract: The investigators winnowed the facts from the testimony.
5. To blow on; fan: a breeze winnowing the tall grass.
v.intr.
1. To separate grain from chaff.
2. To separate the good from the bad.
n.
1. A device for winnowing grain.
2. An act of winnowing.

[Middle English winnewen, alteration of windwen, from Old English windwian, from wind, wind; see wind1.]

win′now·er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.winnowing - the act of separating grain from chaffwinnowing - the act of separating grain from chaff; "the winnowing was done by women"
separation - sorting one thing from others; "the separation of wheat from chaff"; "the separation of mail by postal zones"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
One pre-industrial method of rice preparation is wind winnowing, in which rice grains are repeatedly tossed into the air so that the wind blows away the chaff while the heavier grains remain.