weed out

To weed out is to remove the specific things you don’t want from a group of items, like when you weed out your paperbacks, leaving only hardcover books on your shelf.

This idiom comes from the verb weed, which means “remove weeds from a garden.” When you weed out something, you similarly take away the unwanted or unpleasant things (or in some cases, people). When choosing the students to represent your class at an all-school assembly, your teacher might weed out the kids who hate public speaking.

Definitions of weed out
  1. verb

    remove unwanted elements

    “The company
    weeded out the incompetent people”
    “The new law
    weeds out the old inequities”
    comb out
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    type of:

    get rid of, remove

    dispose of

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