Winnow Win"now (w[i^]n"n[-o]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Winnowed} (w[i^]n"n[-o]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Winnowing}.] [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. [root]131. See {Wind} moving air, and cf. {Fan}., n., {Ventilate}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To separate, and drive off, the chaff from by means of wind; to fan; as, to winnow grain. [1913 Webster]

Ho winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing floor. --Ruth. iii. 2. [1913 Webster]

2. To sift, as for the purpose of separating falsehood from truth; to separate, as bad from good. [1913 Webster]

Winnow well this thought, and you shall find This light as chaff that flies before the wind. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. To beat with wings, or as with wings.[Poetic] [1913 Webster]

Now on the polar winds; then with quick fan Winnows the buxom air. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • winnow — 1. verb /ˈwɪ a) To subject (granular material, especially food grain) to a current of air separating heavier and lighter components, as grain from chaff. They winnowed the field to twelve. b) To separate, sift, analyze, or test i …   Wiktionary

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