from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To pick out from others; select.
  • transitive v. To gather; collect.
  • transitive v. To remove rejected members or parts from (a herd, for example).
  • n. Something picked out from others, especially something rejected because of inferior quality.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To pick or take someone or something (from a larger group).
  • v. To gather, collect.
  • v. To select animals from a group and then kill them in order to reduce the numbers of the group in a controlled manner.
  • v. To kill (animals etc).
  • v. To lay off in order to reduce the size of, get rid of.
  • n. A selection.
  • n. An organised killing of selected animals.
  • n. A piece unfit for inclusion within a larger group; an inferior specimen.
  • n. A fool, gullible person; a dupe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cully; a dupe; a gull. See cully.
  • transitive v. To separate, select, or pick out; to choose and gather or collect.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To gather; pick; collect.
  • To pick out; select or separate one or more of from others: often with out.
  • To inspect and measure, as timber.
  • A Middle English form of kill.
  • A variant of coll.
  • n. Something picked or culled out; specifically, an object selected from among a collection or aggregate, and placed on one side, or rejected, because of inferior quality: usually in the plural: as
  • n. A fool; a dupe.
  • n. A local English (Gloucestershire) name for the fish miller's-thumb.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the person or thing that is rejected or set aside as inferior in quality
  • v. look for and gather
  • v. remove something that has been rejected


Middle English cullen, from Old French cuillir, from Latin colligere; see collect1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French cuillir ("collect, gather, select"), from Latin colligo ("gather together"). (Wiktionary)
Perhaps an abbreviation of cully. (Wiktionary)


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  • Citation (sense of fool, dupe) on nubbing cheat.

    December 23, 2011

  • "Subsequently he enclosed a bloom of edelweiss culled on the heights, as he said, in my honour."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    February 6, 2007