"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[kuhl] /kʌl/
verb (used with object)
to choose; select; pick.
to gather the choice things or parts from.
to collect; gather; pluck.
act of culling.
something culled, especially something picked out and put aside as inferior.
Origin of cull
1300-50; Middle English coilen, cuilen, cullen < Anglo-French, Old French cuillir < Latin colligere to gather; see collect1
Related forms
culler, noun
outcull, verb (used with object)
overcull, verb (used with object)
unculled, adjective
Can be confused
call, caul, cull (see synonym study at call)
2. glean, extract. 3. garner, winnow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cull
  • Bot aficionados scour poker manuals and online forums to cull the best strategies.
  • Most quake researchers cull the whale's booming calls from their seafloor recordings.
  • Others in the community cull the pictures into sets.
  • It's one of the jobs of a skilled scientific illustrator to cull the visual chaff and focus attention on the subject at hand.
  • The idea is to cull fuel-thirsty, polluting drivetrains.
  • They're used as a convenient form of biological control, to cull insect pests without having to resort to chemical agents.
  • The problem of how to cull observations honestly is a constant preoccupation of statisticians and methodologists.
  • cull the local stats, add a bit of police commentary and be done with it.
  • Sale of cull cows is a significant source of income for ranchers.
  • Properly managing and marketing cull cows may mean the difference between a profit and a loss for a year.
British Dictionary definitions for cull


verb (transitive)
to choose or gather the best or required examples
to take out (an animal, esp an inferior one) from a herd
to reduce the size of (a herd or flock) by killing a proportion of its members
to gather (flowers, fruit, etc)
to cease to employ; get rid of
the act or product of culling
an inferior animal taken from a herd or group
Word Origin
C15: from Old French coillir to pick, from Latin colligere; see collect1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cull

c.1200, originally "put through a strainer," from Old French coillir (12c., Modern French cueillir) "collect, gather, pluck, select," from Latin colligere "gather together, collect," originally "choose, select" (see collect). Related: Culled; culling. As a noun, from 1610s.


"dupe, saphead," rogues' slang from late 16c., perhaps a shortening of cullion "base fellow," originally "testicle" (from French couillon, from Old French coillon "testicle; worthless fellow, dolt," from Latin coleus, literally "strainer bag;" see cojones), though another theory traces it to Romany (Gypsy) chulai "man." Also sometimes cully, though some authorities assert cully was the canting term for "dupe" and cull was generic "man, fellow," without implication of gullibility. Cf. also gullible.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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