To separate chaff from grain.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), edited by Noah Porter. About
\win"now\ (?), v. i. to separate chaff from grain. winnow not with every wind. v. 9.
n : the act of separating grain from chaff; "the winnowing was done by women" [syn: winnowing, sifting]
1. separate from chaff; of grain [syn: fan]
2. blow on; "the wind was winnowing her hair"
3. separate wheat from chaff; "she stood there winnowing all day in the field"
4. treat by exposure to a current of air so that waste matter is eliminated, as of grain
5. remove by a current of air, as of chaff
corn was winnowed,
1. by being thrown up by a shovel against the wind. as a rule this was done in the evening or during the night, when the west wind from the sea was blowing, which was a moderate breeze and fitted for the purpose. the north wind was too strong, and the east wind came in gusts.
2. by the use of a fan or van, by which the chaff was blown away (ruth 3:2; isa. 30:24; jer. 4:11, 12; matt. 3:12).