Definition of cull in English:

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Pronunciation: /kʌl/


[with object]
1Reduce the population of (a wild animal) by selective slaughter: some of the culled deer will be used for scientific research (as noun culling) kangaroo culling
More example sentences
  • The hunt, which they help fund and support, maintains a pack of hounds which is uniquely good at tracking the few deer which the hunt's stalkers damage without killing when they cull deer.
  • The same applies to culling wild horses, which are doing incredible damage in some National Parks.
  • And at times, the Game Department engaged in culling operations to reduce elephant populations in certain areas and relieve pressures on the habitat.
slaughter, kill, destroy;
reduce the numbers of, thin out the population of
1.1Send (an inferior or surplus farm animal) to be slaughtered: unproductive animals can be identified and culled
More example sentences
  • In March 2001, during the foot-and-mouth crisis, 800 of his farm's sheep were culled after dangerous contact with infected animals, although there were no signs of the disease in the flock.
  • The farmer would either cull the vulnerable calves or, if they are valuable for other reasons, treat them for parasites and then sell the meat in the nonorganic market.
  • Many pet pigs were culled during the Foot and Mouth epidemic - some quite needlessly in the contagious cull - and people were so heartbroken that they haven't replaced them.
2Select from a large quantity; obtain from a variety of sources: anecdotes culled from Greek and Roman history
More example sentences
  • That this work is not might be a result of the fact that it was culled from a variety of sources (including some radio sessions in New York), with some of the tracks dating back to 2001.
  • Often the anecdotes he has culled from various sources seen contradictory.
  • They have been culled from various sources, east and west.
select, choose, pick, take, obtain, get, glean
2.1 archaic Pick (flowers or fruit): (as adjective culled) fresh culled daffodils
More example sentences
  • But he could not have based all his multifarious descriptions on personal research, and like any other seeker after knowledge he borrowed other men's observations and culled other men's flowers.
  • Thus the brother, perusing the books of many saints like a clever bee, culled the flowers of divine quotations.


1A selective slaughter of animals: fishermen are to campaign for a seal cull
More example sentences
  • He said that there were international guidelines that governed the selective cull of infected animals.
  • We do not support the idea of wasting beef from perfectly healthy animals through an extraordinary cattle cull.
  • In Scotland, troops were last night overseeing a mass pre-emptive cull of apparently healthy sheep to halt the spread.
1.1An inferior or surplus livestock animal selected for culling: he keeps his female calves and sells only male calves and herd culls [as modifier]: a cull cow
More example sentences
  • The cull heifer prices used were for 1999, the cull cow for 2000, and the calf price for the first calf was for 2000.
  • They are the vast majority of UK farmers who have not been ‘taken out’ in livestock culls; farmers who must find markets for their animals, even though they know they will be selling at a loss.
  • Feeding cull cows a feedlot diet for a period of time before selling may improve quality of animals and overall profitability.



Example sentences
  • For smaller operations, cullers might fire air guns into the skulls of the animals.
  • The question raises a few growls from the cullers but the farmers want to hear the answer.
  • Nor have poultry workers or cullers turned out to be an important risk group that could be targeted for protection.


Middle English: from Old French coillier, based on Latin colligere (see collect1).

Words that rhyme with cull

annul, dull, gull, hull, lull, mull, null, scull, skull, Solihull, trull, Tull

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cull

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