\ ˈsiv How to pronounce sieve (audio) \

Definition of sieve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device with meshes or perforations through which finer particles of a mixture (as of ashes, flour, or sand) of various sizes may be passed to separate them from coarser ones, through which the liquid may be drained from liquid-containing material, or through which soft materials may be forced for reduction to fine particles


sieved; sieving

Definition of sieve (Entry 2 of 2)

: sift

Examples of sieve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium heatproof bowl; discard solids. People Staff,, 30 July 2022 If necessary, such as with seedy berries, strain the sorbet base through a fine-mesh sieve into a 4-cup container. Olga Massov, Washington Post, 15 July 2022 Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any solids. Alysha Witwicki, Journal Sentinel, 28 June 2022 The feature imposes limitations on the leakiest parts of the operating system sieve. Wired, 7 July 2022 Which is why the new bill introduced is a breath of fresh air—and a long-overdue salve for the sieve of unchecked foreign lobbying still saturating Washington. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 27 June 2022 Discard the apples and scrape any pectin that may be on the underside of the sieve into the liquid. Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 Use a spoon to press the juice out of the pieces of flesh and skin that catch onto the sieve, getting every last drop through. Mehreen Karim, Bon Appétit, 17 May 2022 Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Strain mixture through fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 May 2022 Sponges filter so much water that, for example, the community at Karasik can sieve almost the entire 600 meters of ocean above it every year. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2022 To bridge to the state of technology in the advanced world in the 1970s, China had begun to build machines that could handle mass-scale calculations, sieve through huge amounts of information, and coordinate complex operations. Jing Tsu, Wired, 23 Jan. 2022 As if responding to those concerns — the only valid criticisms following two excellent performances — the Wolverines blended run and pass with aplomb against the sieve-like Northern Illinois defense. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 18 Sep. 2021 Set sieve over boiling water, cover (lid will not fit tightly, and that’s okay), and steam 15 minutes. Leela Punyaratabandhu, Bon Appétit, 3 Aug. 2021 The developers building the tunnel, Pearson said, will be allowed to sieve as little as one percent of the topsoil. Roff Smith, National Geographic, 12 Nov. 2020 Shoveling aside nearly half a meter of old goat droppings and sieving through sediment, the team unearthed the nearly complete skull of an enigmatic human ancestor, the oldest member of the genus that eventually led to our own. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, 28 Aug. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sieve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sieve


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sieve


Middle English sive, from Old English sife; akin to Old High German sib sieve

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Time Traveler for sieve

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The first known use of sieve was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sieve

sieva bean


sieve analysis

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sieve


\ ˈsiv How to pronounce sieve (audio) \

Kids Definition of sieve

: a utensil with meshes or holes to separate finer particles from coarser ones or solids from liquids

More from Merriam-Webster on sieve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sieve

Nglish: Translation of sieve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sieve for Arabic Speakers


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