Winnow vs Flail - What's the difference?

winnow | flail |


As verbs the difference between winnow and flail

is that winnow is (agriculture) to subject (granular material, especially food grain) to a current of air separating heavier and lighter components, as grain from chaff while flail is to beat using a flail or similar implement.

As nouns the difference between winnow and flail

is that winnow is that which winnows or which is used in winnowing; a contrivance for fanning or winnowing grain while flail is a tool used for threshing, consisting of a long handle with a shorter stick attached with a short piece of chain, thong or similar material.

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

    * * *

    flail

    English

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • A tool used for threshing, consisting of a long handle with a shorter stick attached with a short piece of chain, thong or similar material.
  • A weapon which has the (usually spherical) striking part attached to the handle with a flexible joint such as a chain.
  • Quotations
    * 1631 — *: When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
    His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn
    That ten day-labourers could not end; * 1816 — *: Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
    Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail * 1842 — *: On him alone the curse of Cain
    Fell, like a flail on the garnered grain,
    And struck him to the earth! * 1879 — , ch V *: If the farmer must use the spade because he has not capital enough for a plough, the sickle instead of the reaping machine, the flail instead of the thresher...

    Coordinate terms

    *(weapon) nunchaku

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • To beat using a flail or similar implement.
  • To wave or swing vigorously
  • *
  • * 1937 , ,
  • He stopped in his tracks – then, flailing his arms wildly in the air, began to stagger backwards.
  • To thresh.
  • To move like a flail.
  • He was flailing wildly, but didn't land a blow.

    Synonyms

    * thrash

    See also

    * (wikipedia "flail") *