\ 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 To rinse your quinoa, pour it into a fine mesh sieve and run it under cold water for about 30 seconds. Katy Severson,, "How to cook quinoa," 23 Mar. 2021 Strain the blueberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve (or cheesecloth, for a smoother juice) into a small bowl. Emily Price, Forbes, "Crown Royal Is Launching A Limited Edition ‘Coming 2 America’ Pack," 1 Mar. 2021 Transfer the ground spices to a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and sift. Beth Segal, cleveland, "‘In Bibi’s Kitchen’: The recipes and stories of grandmothers from the eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean," 20 Jan. 2021 Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cold tap water, stirring the rice gently with your hands, until the water runs clear. Beth Segal, cleveland, "‘In Bibi’s Kitchen’: The recipes and stories of grandmothers from the eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean," 20 Jan. 2021 Place the rice in a mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear, then leave rice to soak in cold water. Star Tribune, "Recipes from our favorite cookbooks: Winter Pilau With Beets, Cauliflower and Cilantro Chutney, Powdered Donut Cake," 9 Dec. 2020 Pour the reduced dye mix through a sieve or strainer into a bowl, pressing the materials to squeeze out any access. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Make Natural Dyes for Summer Tie-Dying," 23 June 2020 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, "You Can Eat Your Christmas Tree. Here’s How to Do It.," 30 Dec. 2020 Empty applesauce into a sieve placed over a bowl, to drain the excess liquid, and set aside. Bill Buford, The New Yorker, "A French Answer to American Apple Pie," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Since being challenged by Lue after last Sunday’s sieve-like effort in New Orleans, the Clippers have strung together three consecutive performances in which their defense offered greater resistance. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "As Lakers slip, Clippers take step forward with chance to make their move in West," 20 Mar. 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, "Controversial tunnel under Stonehenge approved over archaeologists' objections," 12 Nov. 2020 Harrison is a run-stuffing defensive tackle, which may or may not help the Seahawks' sieve-like pass defense that is allowing an NFL-worst 362.1 passing yards a game and overall is allowing 455.8 total yards a game, last in the NFL. oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks’ Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison has a ‘real chance’ to play against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday," 13 Nov. 2020 Put soup through a food mill or sieve, removing cloves. Judy Walker,, "Cooler days, fall vegetables in markets stir cravings for hearty, comforting soup recipes," 7 Oct. 2020 The Heat only trailed by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter despite showing the sieve-like defense of the ’88 Dolphins. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: Too much Lakers, too little health — Heat in 2-0 hole that looks deeper | Commentary," 2 Oct. 2020 By using water and sieve flotation techniques, the team discovered pieces of plant tissue among the charcoal. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Mysterious 25,000-Year-Old Structure Built of the Bones of 60 Mammoths," 16 Mar. 2020 Blowdown spruce sieved the current, and the willows on the gravel bars were beginning to turn. Peter Heller, Outdoor Life, "When Wilderness is a Catch-22," 17 Feb. 2020 Note: Passata is a packaged, sieved tomato and is sold in jars and cans at area stores., "Recipe: Anna’s Cresc’tajat Pasta with Beans," 4 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Last Updated

28 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sieve



English Language Learners Definition of sieve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a kitchen tool that has many small holes and that is used to separate smaller particles from larger ones or solids from liquids



English Language Learners Definition of sieve (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (something) through a 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

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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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