\ ˈkəl How to pronounce cull (audio) \
culled; culling; culls

Definition of cull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to select from a group : choose culled the best passages from the poet's work Damaged fruits are culled before the produce is shipped.
2 : to reduce or control the size of (something, such as a herd) by removal (as by hunting or slaughter) of especially weak or sick individuals The town issued hunting licenses in order to cull the deer population. culling a herd of cattle also : to hunt or kill (individuals) for culling culling diseased cows culled hundreds of deer



Definition of cull (Entry 2 of 2)

: something rejected especially as being inferior or worthless … how to separate good-looking pecans from culls.The Washington Post

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Other Words from cull


culler noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cull

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of cull in a Sentence

Verb He culls his herd annually. The town issued hunting licenses in order to cull the deer population. Noun the unbruised apples will be packed in bags, and the culls will be used for cider
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Much of the material will be culled from recorded routines by the likes of Moms Mabley, Joan Rivers, Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Tig Notaro and Whoopi Goldberg. David Bauder, USA TODAY, "SiriusXM channel starring female comedians debuts featuring Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Whoopi Goldberg," 1 Apr. 2020 Since the South Carolina primary, the Democratic primary herd has been culled. Siraj Hashmi, Washington Examiner, "2020 countdown: The March 10 primaries," 10 Mar. 2020 The ActBlue data was culled mostly by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit news outlet, while the candidate data was compiled by ProPublica, another nonprofit news organization. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "MJ Hegar has lapped Texas’ Democratic Senate field in fundraising. How much will it matter?," 26 Feb. 2020 Prisoners who were ill or feeble were culled from the new arrivals and executed quickly. Washington Post, "Russian Auschwitz survivor: Only coincidence that I lived," 24 Jan. 2020 Rent data was culled from HousingLink’s Twin Cities Rental Revue, an analysis of 341 rental vacancy listings in St. Paul. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Rents dip, but no affordable units under construction in St. Paul mid-2019," 26 Nov. 2019 If those six trees show decay, they will be culled around January. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Newport to go ahead with cutting down three condemned Balboa Island trees initially spared the saw," 14 Oct. 2019 The list of government officials who could review a memo of the call's contents was culled. Author: Josh Dawsey, Carol D. Leonnig, Anchorage Daily News, "Efforts to shield Ukraine call reflect broad secrecy push," 27 Sep. 2019 Nearly 22,000 pigs have been culled since the outbreak was first confirmed last week in the border towns of Paju and Yeoncheon, but officials have yet to identify the infection route. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fears grow in South Korea as tests confirm more swine fever," 24 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The statement didn’t say when the outbreak occurred, or when the cull happened., "China Culls 18,000 Chickens After H5N1 Bird Flu Cases in Hunan," 10 May 2020 For now, the aerial culls are the main, if uneasy, way to handle unruly camels. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "Heat and drought are causing feral camels to overrun communities in Australia," 17 Jan. 2020 Meanwhile, farmers are facing the likely cull of millions of animals and mass graves could soon be dug across the heartland., "U.S. to Boost Testing; Spain, France to Ease Curbs: Virus Update," 28 Apr. 2020 In the sixth episode of the new season: ankle cleavage, dinosaur culls, and 300-year investing horizons. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "‘Succession’ Recap, S2E6: Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish," 16 Sep. 2019 East Lansing’s city manager would have to initiate a cull and partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife services to bring in sharpshooters to target deer in city parks. USA TODAY, "Rock slides wreak havoc, close encounters with great white shark, gray whale: News from around our 50 states," 14 Feb. 2020 The reasoning for the cull was to prevent the spread of Lyme disease, which can be caused by bacteria in deer ticks. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Point Pelee National Park in Canada to close due to deer overpopulation," 3 Jan. 2020 The confusion has led to both cruel abandonment of animals and acts of heroism to save suffering pets from neglect and government culls. Time, "'They Are Overwhelmed.' China's Animal Shelters Can't Cope With the Number of Pets Abandoned Due to COVID-19," 2 Mar. 2020 If the cull goes forward, the meat from the deer will likely have to be destroyed, because most are infected with CWD. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "The Wild Game State Agencies Confiscate Does Not Go in a Dumpster," 10 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cull.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cull


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1809, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cull

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French culier, coillir, from Latin colligere to bind together — more at collect

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Time Traveler for cull

Time Traveler

The first known use of cull was in the 13th century

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Statistics for cull

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cull.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for cull


How to pronounce cull (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cull

: to select or choose (someone or something) from a group
: to control the size of (a group of animals) by killing some animals


\ ˈkəl How to pronounce cull (audio) \
culled; culling

Kids Definition of cull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to select from a group The best poems were culled from her collection.
2 : to identify and remove less desirable members from cull sheep from a flock



Kids Definition of cull (Entry 2 of 2)

: something rejected from a group because it is not as good as the rest

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More from Merriam-Webster on cull

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cull

Spanish Central: Translation of cull

Nglish: Translation of cull for Spanish Speakers

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