A Word A Day : Winnow

Saturday, 24th November 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Verb & Noun )

(past and past participle : winnowed, present participle : winnowing, 3rd person present singular : winnows)

Pronunciation : wínnō

1. to free (grain) from the lighter particles of chaff, dirt, etc., esp. by throwing it into the air and allowing the wind or a forced current of air to blow away impurities

2. to drive or blow (chaff, dirt, etc.) away by fanning

3. to blow upon

4. to subject to some process of separating or distinguishing; analyze critically

5. to separate or distinguish (valuable from worthless parts)

6. to pursue (a course) with flapping wings in flying

7. a device used to winnow grain

8. the process of separating grain from chaff


Old English - windwian - wind - wind


examine, go through, sort through, inspect, pick over, sort


adulterate, begrime, defile, dirty, mess, pollute, soil, stain

Contextual Example:

• These I heated before the fire, as well as I could, and rubbed them till the husks came off, which I made a shift to winnow from the grain.

Related Words :

1. winnower: Noun

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