1 of 2


culled; culling; culls

transitive verb

: to select from a group : choose
culled the best passages from the poet's work
Damaged fruits are culled before the produce is shipped.
: 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
culler noun


2 of 2


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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Rap fans will now have to cull the permutations of vocal tones, end-rhyme enunciation, and digital artifacts while evaluating a track’s validity. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2024 Because the virus spreads easily and can kill birds quickly, farmers usually have to cull even uninfected birds to prevent a wider outbreak. Jen Christensen, CNN, 3 Apr. 2024 Across these strange and sometimes angular tracks, McMahon splices in sound bytes culled from YouTube, a Richard Pryor set, snippets of a J Dilla interview, and other sonic curios. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 19 Mar. 2024 Waymo based its findings on data culled from on a total of 7.1 million miles driven — 1.76 million in San Francisco and 5.34 million in the Phoenix area. Rachel Uranga, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2024 The company also culled more than 3% of its flock in response to the outbreak. Alice Park, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 But by waiting until every team in baseball had to cull their roster to 26 players, the Giants stand a chance (even a slim one) of getting Bart to Sacramento. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024 Such was the case in 2022 when a man who was involved in culling infected poultry in Colorado became the country’s first ever human case of H5 flu. Helen Branswell, STAT, 1 Apr. 2024 There is a special panel culled from the 50 selectors who provide the senior finalists. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Feb. 2024
In 2021, a 57-year-old man was killed by a bear in the same national park, stoking community tensions about their presence and leading to calls for a cull. Tristan Kennedy, WIRED, 21 Mar. 2024 The fallout from Warner Music Group’s company-wide cull has already reached Australia, where the head of the domestic Warner Chappell company, Matthew Capper, is understood to be among the departures. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 9 Feb. 2024 This isn’t the first time McLeod has put forward a shark cull. Sage Marshall, Field & Stream, 17 Jan. 2024 Eventually, there will be a cull—Disney brass are already talking about cutting Marvel and other shows—but what remains will be wilder and more interesting than what’s come before. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, 16 Jan. 2024 Google hasn’t released any figures for how many accounts have been included in the cull list, but the security benefits are likely only part of the company's equation. Janhoi McGregor, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 The cull of staff at the Swiss lender will dramatically worsen what was already a dismal year for financial sector jobs worldwide, after Wall Street investment banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. announced their own cuts of thousands of staff. Laura Benitez, Fortune, 27 June 2023 Each year, wildlife managers would choose a number of elephants to cull—usually somewhere from 350 to 500. Katharine Gammon, The Atlantic, 1 Dec. 2023 And bear hunts are returning to states that had previously prohibited them, including in New Jersey, which re-legalized a limited cull last fall. Amelia Nierenberg, New York Times, 24 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cull.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1809, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near cull

Cite this Entry

“Cull.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to select from a group : choose
: to reduce or control the size of (as a herd) by removal of usually weaker animals
a hunt to cull the growing deer population
culler noun


2 of 2 noun
: something rejected from a group or lot as being not as good as the rest

More from Merriam-Webster on cull

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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