Chaff vs Winnow - What's the difference?

chaff | winnow |


As nouns the difference between chaff and winnow

is that chaff is the inedible parts of a grain-producing plant while winnow is that which winnows or which is used in winnowing; a contrivance for fanning or winnowing grain.

As verbs the difference between chaff and winnow

is that chaff is to use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter while winnow is (agriculture) to subject (granular material, especially food grain) to a current of air separating heavier and lighter components, as grain from chaff.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?

chaff

English

Noun

(-)
  • The inedible parts of a grain-producing plant.
  • To separate out the chaff , early cultures tossed baskets of grain into the air and let the wind blow away the lighter chaff.
  • * Dryden
  • So take the corn and leave the chaff behind.
  • By extension, any excess or unwanted material, resource, or person; anything worthless.
  • There are plenty of good books on the subject, but take care to separate the wheat from the chaff .
  • * Shakespeare
  • the chaff and ruin of the times
  • Loose material dropped from aircraft specifically to interfere with radar detection.
  • Straw or hay cut up fine for the food of cattle.
  • * Wyatt
  • By adding chaff' to his corn, the horse must take more time to eat it. In this way ' chaff is very useful.
  • Light jesting talk; banter; raillery.
  • Derived terms

    * separate the wheat from the chaff

    See also

    * bran

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • To use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter.
  • To make fun of; to turn into ridicule by addressing in ironical or bantering language; to quiz.
  • winnow

    English

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • (agriculture) To subject (granular material, especially food grain) to a current of air separating heavier and lighter components, as grain from chaff.
  • *
  • (figuratively) To separate, sift, analyze, or test in this manner.
  • They winnowed the field to twelve.
    They winnowed the winners from the losers.
    They winnowed the losers from the winners.
  • (literary) To blow upon or toss about by blowing; to set in motion as with a fan or wings.
  • * 1872 Elliott Coues, Key to North American Birds
  • Gulls average much larger than terns, with stouter build; the feet are larger and more ambulatorial, the wings are shorter and not so thin; the birds winnow the air in a steady course unlike the buoyant dashing flight of their relatives.
  • (intransitive, literary, dated) To move about with a flapping motion, as of wings; to flutter.
  • Usage notes

    * Used with adverb or preposition "down"; see also winnow down. * Used with adverbs or prepositions "through", "away", and "out".

    Derived terms

    * winnow down * winnower * winnowing basket * winnowing fan * winnowing machine * winnow sheet * winnow grain from chaff * winnow the wheat from the chaff

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • That which winnows or which is used in winnowing; a contrivance for fanning or winnowing grain.
  • References

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