Wednesday’s Word–Winnow


Today’s word is – “winnow”

Winnow [] verb. Pronounced “Win-Oh”

: to remove (people or things that are less important, desirable, etc.) from a larger group or list : to make (a list of possible choices) smaller by removing the less desirable choices

: to remove (the unwanted coverings of seeds) from grain by throwing the grain up in the air and letting the wind blow the unwanted parts away


To winnow is to use air to “separate the wheat from the chaff” — literally or figuratively. If a coach winnows down the top NBA draft picks to his number one choice, then he’ll focus his negotiations on that player. Chances are, if you encounter the word winnow on a given day, it is probably not in the literal context of grain.

Origin – Middle English winewen, from Old English windwian to fan, winnow; akin to Old High German wintōn to fan, Latin vannus winnowing fan, ventus wind. First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonyms for winnow – sift, scatter, fan

Antonyms for winnow – taint, contaminate

Example sentences from

Eliminate industries that overlap and winnow the list to five or six industries.

Gross and his colleagues winnow the list of possible explanations.

The science can and should help us winnow down the options.

But it still allows me to winnow down the future selection by giving feedback.

Hope you had fun, see you next week with another word .

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Fun with words, interesting stuffs, on writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Click Below to Sign Up for My Newsletter and Get 3 FREE ebooks
My Amazon Bookstore
Sci-fi trivia hunter?
On Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,507 other followers

%d bloggers like this: