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glean (verb) gather leftover grain; collect information over a long period.
To collect grain leftover in the field after it has been harvested is to glean. When reapers finish reaping, a lot of grain is still left scattered in the field. Gathering such grain manually is gleaning. Collecting information about something over a lot of time, little by little, is also gleaning. 'The scholar gleaned information from a number of sources.' This means that the scholar, over a long period of time, collected information from a number of sources.
- The poor peasant got on by gleaning the grain left behind after the field had been harvested by machines.
- He spent almost two decades to glean the information from various sources for his book, and when he started working on the book, he found that he had gathered more information than was really needed for the book.