\ 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

cherry-pick, choose, elect, handpick, name, opt (for), pick, prefer, select, single (out), tag, take

Synonyms: Noun

discard, reject, rejection, second

Antonyms: Verb

decline, refuse, reject, turn down

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Examples of cull in a Sentence


He culls his herd annually. The town issued hunting licenses in order to cull the deer population.


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

Savvy handicappers were paired with personable broadcasters culled from smaller news markets. Tod Leonard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Horse racing’s TVG talent marvels at reaching 20th birthday," 9 Aug. 2019 Langton and Looney decorated the space, a former asphalt shop, with a mishmash of designs culled from local vintage shops, and bar stools donated from friends in the area. Christina Tkacik,, "Imaginative food and a uniquely Baltimore experience at Gypsy’s Truckstaurant," 1 Aug. 2019 Federal prosecutors say the breach also included 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers, culled from tens of millions of credit card applications. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, "Capital One looked to the cloud for security. But its own firewall couldn’t stop a hacker.," 30 July 2019 More recently, a brand-new set of monologues about Lake Wobegon — culled from the final two years of Garrison’s time hosting the show — was just released through his website. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, "Garrison Keillor ruminates on Minnesota in Harper’s essay — and plans a fall tour," 24 July 2019 As Stranger Things’ season 3 premiere looms less than a week away, the actress has a mere 82 photos posted to her Instagram account, @Nattyiceofficial, a title culled from a high school nickname. Ariana Romero,, "Stranger Things Star Natalia Dyer On The Upside-Down Of Fame," 4 July 2019 Join disco’s legendary hit makers alongside the L.A. Phil for a set that includes American orchestral anthems and celebratory jams culled from Rodgers’ and Chic’s extensive catalogs. Andrea Domanick,, "Best live music in L.A.: Nile Rodgers, Chrissie Hynde, Billie Eilish and more," 3 July 2019 The festival, known for edgy documentaries and independent narrative films from a diverse range of voices, will highlight 174 feature-length and short movies culled from more than 9,000 submissions. ... Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "Five Movies Bound to Make Noise at the Tribeca Film Festival," 17 Apr. 2019 All issues after that will be republished content culled from 67 years of publication, and MAD will continue to publish books and special collections, multiple sources told The Post. Michael Cavna,, "MAD magazine, a pioneer of modern satire, will soon cease publishing new content," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Wednesday, Johnson and his acolytes performed a ministerial cull of a brutality rarely seen in Westminster. Marie Le Conte, Quartz, "Boris Johnson’s cabinet shows us exactly what kind of leader he will be," 25 July 2019 So many, in fact, that the government recently called for commencement of limited culls and lifted the ban on big-game hunting, citing increasing incidents of human-elephant conflict and destruction of crops. New York Times, "Zoos Called It a ‘Rescue.’ But Are the Elephants Really Better Off?," 9 July 2019 There had been some sort of soda cull, and Diet Dr Pepper Cherry had not made the cut. John Kelly, Washington Post, "A real bread-and-butter issue: What kind of sandwich are you?," 14 July 2019 Well, despite Captain Marvel's massive box office cull, there's no word of a Captain Marvel sequel yet. Rachel Paige,, "What Is The Next Marvel Movie After Spider-Man: Far From Home?," 5 July 2019 According to Mauritius’s Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, yields of these fruits have actually decreased since the culls began. Rachel Nuwer, National Geographic, "These endangered bats are being killed by the thousands—here’s why," 1 Mar. 2019 The obvious thing to do was to dump WEIF in the cull, but after Mr Woodford slashed his fee again, to 0.5%, Mr Dampier kept him. The Economist, "The Woodford affair ensnares middle England’s favourite fund supermarket," 15 June 2019 As revealed at the end of Infinity War, Captain Marvel represents Nick Fury’s ace in the hole and the last hope against Thanos and his universe-shattering cull. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Captain Marvel and the future of the Avengers, explained," 18 Sep. 2018 While the government is pushing for softer measures such as sterilization for the pigs and education for humans who feed them, others say the solution is a full-scale cull of the swine. Alice Fung, The Seattle Times, "In year of the pig, Hong Kong has had enough of wild ones," 6 Feb. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near cull






cull board


Statistics for cull

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cull

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

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More Definitions for cull



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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of or relating to the heavens

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