I'm currently writing a academic paper draft (in computer vision, if it helps), and I'd like to know if "weed out", in the sense of "eliminate", or "remove" is considered informal ?

Edit: adding an example

To avoid unnecessary processing, we try to weed out these poor quality images as soon as possible.

  • There isn't enough context to answer the question. However you have your answer already. If worried about "weed out" use "eliminate" or "remove". – James K Apr 16 at 14:38
  • But my question is whether or not I should worry about it! – Lescurel Apr 16 at 14:54

Not really. It is not an informal word but for example in court documents you would not use it.

In most academic circles it would be fine but I would not be surprised if a reviewer suggests you replace it.


I was going to answer YES, but none of the online dictionaries say it is informal, so maybe I am being old-fashioned.

1 Remove unwanted plants from (an area of ground)

‘I was weeding a flower bed’

2 weed someone/something out
Remove an inferior or unwanted component of a group or collection.

‘we must raise the level of research and weed out the poorest work’

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