Definition of separate (or sort out) the men from the boys in English:

separate (or sort out) the men from the boys

phrase

informal
  • Show or prove which people in a group are truly competent, brave, or mature.

    ‘this match will separate the men from the boys’
    • ‘Such experiences are what separate the men from the boys.’
    • ‘The rock-hard desert terrain encountered by riders at the Alpine quarry soon sorted out the men from the boys and many competitors didn't make it to the end of the two-hour race.’
    • ‘More than any other, a tour of Australia separates the men from the boys.’
    • ‘This is the part of the competition that separates the men from the boys.’
    • ‘This is a hole for those with nerves of steel, and will truly sort out the men from the boys in the Ryder Cup.’
    • ‘This two mile Derby consists of four circuits of the track and is a race where stamina, strength and speed to the finish separate the men from the boys and only the fittest and most highly trained will succeed.’
    • ‘Lets make no bones about it; this is a hard race and probably sorts out the men from the boys.’
    • ‘Believe me 5 years in the Army and then the Navy soon separated the men from the boys.’
    • ‘I'm sure it would be absolutely horrible in real life, but trying to survive alone on a desert island has be the ultimate test - it would definitely separate the men from the boys and I think I'd end up being a complete wimp.’
    • ‘Determination separates the men from the boys and is especially important in bodybuilding.’