To thresh is to harvest seeds from grain by beating or crushing it. Before the invention of machines to do this task, it took a huge amount of time to thresh grain by hand.

To make this tedious task go faster, farmers used to thresh in groups, throwing threshing bees where neighbors worked together. Special sticks called flails were used to beat the seeds out of the grain, and it took about an hour to thresh a bushel of wheat. The threshing machine was invented in the late 1700s, and today most farmers thresh using a combine harvester, which harvests and threshes the grain right in the field.

Definitions of thresh

v beat the seeds out of a grain

Type of:
hit repeatedly

v give a thrashing to; beat hard

flail, lam, thrash
bat, clobber, cream, drub, lick, thrash
beat thoroughly and conclusively in a competition or fight
Type of:
beat, beat up, work over
give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression

v move or stir about violently

convulse, jactitate, slash, thrash, thrash about, thresh about, toss
thrash about flexibly in the manner of a whiplash
Type of:
agitate, shake
move or cause to move back and forth

v move like a flail; thresh about

Type of:
beat, flap
move with a flapping motion

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