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


2 of 2


sieved; sieving
: sift

Examples of sieve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
New England’s dirt has rocks; Allen puts it through giant sieves so the spinning truck tires don’t launch stone missiles into the crowd. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 14 Aug. 2023 But whisking eggs in a sieve for an omelet was completely novel to me. Sam Stone, Bon Appétit, 7 July 2023 While pasta is boiling, place shrimp in a large kitchen spider or small sieve and dip in boiling water, keeping shrimp in sieve, and allow to blanch about 1 to 2 minutes. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Apr. 2023 Set a mesh sieve over the bowl of a stand mixer or, if using a hand mixer, a large bowl. Mila Clarke Buckley, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, and then mix the tomato-peach juice with the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt. Antara Sinha, Bon Appétit, 7 Aug. 2023 Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 1 Aug. 2023 Use your fingertips or a small spatula to push the egg yolks through a wire-mesh sieve over the top, or simply crumble them. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, 12 June 2023 North Carolina might be an absolute sieve defensively and even lucky to be 6-1, given those close wins against Appalachian State and Duke. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2022
Well, this one is based on a Dahl short story from a collection more aimed at adults, and represents an adaptation more faithful to its original than Fox but still sieved through Anderson’s unique visual style. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Sep. 2023 The hot mixture is then strained through a cheesecloth or sieve allowing the fruit juice to drip into a pan, leaving the seeds, skins, and solid fruit pieces behind. Patricia S York, Southern Living, 22 Aug. 2023 Drain shrimp into a colander or sieve and rinse with cold water. cleveland, 8 Aug. 2023 At promising sites, scuba-diving archaeologists photographed and collected soil samples to sieve on land for small finds. Sean Kingsley, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2023 But the show sieves most of its video-​age anxiety through Principal Coleman. Niela Orr, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2023 Sieve the mixture two or three times through a fine sieve (fine mesh strainer) so that none of the needles end up in the final ice cream mixture. Lindsay Campbell, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Dec. 2020 Your sales platform needs to sieve the master data source and provide contextual assistance to your teams via easy-to-use data nuggets. Venkat Malladi, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 Sieve the mixture over a bowl, discarding any large pieces that do not pass through the sieve. Tina Danze, Dallas News, 13 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sieve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near sieve

Cite this Entry

“Sieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a device with meshes or holes to separate finer particles from coarser ones or solids from liquids


2 of 2 verb
sieved; sieving
: to put through a sieve : sift
sieve the tomatoes to remove the seeds

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