Definition of cull in English:


Line breaks: cull
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.


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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.


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



More 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.

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