winnow

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v winnow blow away or off with a current of air "winnow chaff"
    • v winnow select desirable parts from a group or list "cull out the interesting letters from the poet's correspondence","winnow the finalists from the long list of applicants"
    • v winnow separate the chaff from by using air currents "She stood there winnowing chaff all day in the field"
    • v winnow blow on "The wind was winnowing her hair","the wind winnowed the grass"
    • n winnow the act of separating grain from chaff "the winnowing was done by women"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Winnow To beat with wings, or as with wings. "Now on the polar winds; then with quick fan Winnows the buxom air."
    • v. i Winnow To separate chaff from grain. "Winnow not with every wind."
    • Winnow To separate, and drive off, the chaff from by means of wind; to fan; as, to winnow grain. "Ho winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing floor."
    • Winnow To sift, as for the purpose of separating falsehood from truth; to separate, as bad from good. "Winnow well this thought, and you shall find
      This light as chaff that flies before the wind."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • winnow To fan; set in motion by means of wind; specifically, to expose (grain) to a current of air in order to separate and drive off chaff, refuse particles, etc.
    • winnow To blow upon; toss about by blowing.
    • winnow To separate, expel, or disperse by or as by fanning or blowing; sift or weed out; separate or distinguish, as one thing from another.
    • winnow To set in motion or vibration; beat as with a fan or wings.
    • winnow To wave to and fro; flutter; flap.
    • winnow To pursue or accomplish with a waving or flapping motion, as of wings.
    • winnow Figuratively, to subject to a process analogous to the winnowing of grain; separate into parts according to kind; sift; analyze or scrutinize carefully; examine; test.
    • winnow To free grain or the like from chaff or refuse matter by means of wind.
    • winnow To move about with a flapping motion, as of wings; flutter.
    • n winnow That which winnows or which is used in winnowing; a contrivance for fanning or winnowing grain.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Winnow win′ō to separate the chaff from the grain by wind: to fan: to examine: to sift: to blow upon: :
    • v.i Winnow to separate chaff from grain
    • n Winnow a fan for winnowing
    • v.i Winnow win′ō (Milt.) to set in motion
    • v.i Winnow win′ō (rare) to flap, flutter
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. windewen, winewen, AS. windwian,; akin to Goth. winpjan,in comp.), winpi,-skauro a fan, L. ventilare, to fan, to winnow; cf. L. wannus, a fan for winnowing, G. wanne, OHG. wanna,. √131. See Wind moving air, and cf. Fan., (n.) Ventilate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. windwian, to winnow.

Usage

In literature:

It was then considered to be sufficiently winnowed, and fit to be sent to the mill.
"Russia" by Various
Similarly, we may say that grain is selected from chaff by the wind in the process of winnowing corn.
"Darwin, and After Darwin (Vol. 1 and 3, of 3)" by George John Romanes
It is the winnowing fan of death that makes for the development of animal life.
"Theism or Atheism" by Chapman Cohen
The winnowing follows, after the whole is reduced almost to snuff.
"The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde"" by George Davidson
But without soul, alas, what winnowing-machine in human elections can be of avail?
"Past and Present" by Thomas Carlyle
He built the stable, stored the hay, And winnowed oats from day to day.
"Fables of John Gay" by John Gay
I winnow him; and if nothing but chaff results, whose fault is that?
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II)" by Augustus de Morgan
This seems unlikely, unless it can be shown that Winwaloe and Winnow or Winoc were the same person.
"The Cornwall Coast" by Arthur L. Salmon
Winnowing Basket, about 1750.
"Agricultural Implements and Machines in the Collection of the National Museum of History and Technology" by John T. Schlebecker
Morning and winnowed skies; China awake.
"The Pagan Madonna" by Harold MacGrath
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In poetry:

Across the azure spaces,
Athwart the vasts of sky,
With winnowings of mighty wings
The winds of God go by.
"The Winds Of God" by Clinton Scollard
Passionless purity,
Calmness in surety
Dwells everywhere,
A winnowed whiteness,
A lunar lightness
Glows in the air.
"Mist And Frost" by Duncan Campbell Scott
By whatever beings peopled,
Worlds that fail to meet the test
May like fruitless blossoms perish;
God will winnow out the best.
"Discouragement" by John Lawson Stoddard
For still the Lord alone is God
The pomp and power of tyrant man
Are scattered at his lightest breath,
Like chaff before the winnower's fan.
"The Legend of St. Mark" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Into its furrows shall we all be cast,
In the sure faith that we shall rise again
At the great harvest, when the archangel's blast
Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain.
"God's-Acre" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Who art thou thus to shrink from man in terror
And be dismayed because of mankind's scorn?
My angel I will send, as wrote the prophet,
And gather Israel winnowed and new-born:
This miracle shall be to-morrow morn."
"Duologue" by Shlomo ibn Gabirol

In news:

There's some winnowing out going on in that hot West 7th Street corridor — Delaney's Irish Pub and So7 Bistro are gone.
Whether it's a significant other refusing to hug you or a coworker winnowing the air after you pass, the lingering effects of a cigar-smoking session are not always appreciated.
Chilmark selectmen winnow down Tea Lane Farmstead candidates.
Pat Forde, Mark Schlabach and Ivan Maisel attacked an interesting proposition, choosing the top programs if the FBS was being winnowed to 40 members.
It is time to winnow the books.
Iowa isn't the place to winnow candidates.
Debate Over, Iowa Prepares To Winnow GOP Field.
Cast your vote for levy measure and a ' winnow ' race for Aug 16 primary election.
Plans to Winnow UN Nuke Monitors.
(AP) — The Division of Motor Vehicles is ready to winnow permanent license plates the state of North Carolina will keep issuing to local governments and rescue squads, but no longer to orphanages or churches.
Almost 850 films were entered in the dramatic competition alone, a number the judges had to winnow to 16.
Over five months, judges winnowed down the contestants to 22 semifinalists who were invited to New York to sing.
This year, we had the most submissions ever — a tough field of nearly 150 hopefuls from every artistic discipline that a panel of past MasterMinds winners and New Times staff winnowed down to just three $1,000 grant winners.
How to winnow the field.
Heel rakes were used for raking hay into winnows and for the final clearing of the fields.
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In science:

The BATSE data quickly winnowed away many γ -ray burst theories.
A Search for Gamma-Ray Bursts and Pulsars, and the Application of Kalman Filters to Gamma-Ray Reconstruction
Winnowing: local algorithms for document fingerprinting.
Coordinated Weighted Sampling for Estimating Aggregates Over Multiple Weight Assignments
Schemes that continually winnow packets before queues are filled (e.g.
DIP: Disruption-Tolerance for IP
In Section 3.2, we prove a ‘safe winnowing lemma’ that can be used for this purpose.
A Full Characterization of Quantum Advice
In Appendix 10, we will develop the theory of ‘winnowability’ of p-concept classes for its own sake.
A Full Characterization of Quantum Advice
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