Then, at Winter Conclave, your friend Rowan shall be ordained, and, as has already been stipulated, he shall glean you.

They passed an elementary school one day as it was letting out, and Citra had a sinking feeling that she would glean one of the students.

here are two sentences from a novel ,which in the title scythe (written by Neal Shusterman),I'm sorry that I cannot provide with more information as I didn't exactly know which chapter those examples derived from.but I think it's totally okay since no context given doesn't really matter much here.

of course I had already looked up the word"glean",it essentially means to gather some tiny pieces bit by bit,such as grains left on the field, or information about anything. So, how to "glean somebody"? in this two examples, however, it gives me a sense of "to kill somebody"(probably by means of a scythe as what the title means to?). please help me with it.

  • 2
    Looks like a sci-fi title. My guess is glean has something to do with the Scythes harvesting people. The word likely retains its original meaning but is used in a unique way. Do the Scythes gather/harvest the students? It's difficult to provide a useful answer without understanding the larger context of the story.
    – EllieK
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


This is not a regular use of the word glean. It is a special euphemism invented by Shusterman for his book.

He explains this in the very first section of the book. You can read it https://www.onlinereadfreebooks.com/en/Scythe-568213/1

He explains that in his future world "glean" mean to "kill" (when committed by a priesthood known as "Scythes")

There is no way to know this unless you read the book from the start.

  • thank you ,that helps a lot! Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 13:51

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