\ 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)

Examples of sieve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Set a sieve over a bowl and drain the apples; set the apples and cider aside separately., "Apple Cider Sticky Buns," 31 Oct. 2019 Front to back, this Raiders’ defense looks like a sieve. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Raiders’ circus poised for flat Oakland finale," 28 Aug. 2019 The Falcons offensive line looked like a sieve in their Week 2 preseason tilt with the Jets when New York sacked Matt Ryan five times and hit him many more. Jonathan Jones,, "What We Learned at NFC South Training Camps," 23 Aug. 2019 The Politician paints a winking tableau of privilege, as if the sociopathy of Heathers or Cruel Intentions and the kooky anachronisms of Wes Anderson were shaken through the sieve of contemporary political correctness. Vogue, "Ben Platt on His Next Act: A Star Turn in Ryan Murphy's The Politician," 20 Aug. 2019 Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Whitney Otawka of Greyfield Inn," 2 Nov. 2019 For the Chocolate Frosting: Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Allene Arnold, al, "4 creative recipes to thrill guests this Halloween," 29 Oct. 2019 Shake hard for 20 seconds, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into the chilled glass, taking care not to knock off the garnish, if using (see headnote). M. Carrie Allan, The Denver Post, "How to concoct frighteningly good Halloween cocktails," 23 Oct. 2019 After two to three days, pour the seeds into a fine sieve and rinse with water. Washington Post, "Plan now for the best tomatoes next year," 10 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This mechanism was there to sieve out candidates who might challenge Beijing’s authority over sovereignty. Christine Loh, Time, "Hong Kong People Know That They Are Better Than Their Current Politics," 7 Sep. 2019 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, "Stunning ancient skull shakes up human family tree," 28 Aug. 2019 Fold ½ cup of sieved flour into egg mixture until no flour shows. Illyanna Maisonet,, "How my hankering for brazo gitano led to a Stockton cherry orchard," 16 Aug. 2019 After getting permission from the Wallace family, CBS opened their 60 Minutes archives for the very first time, allowing Belkin to sieve through thousands of hours of footage. Sara Merican, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mike Wallace Is Here' Filmmaker: Doc Tells a "Bigger Story" About Broadcast Journalism," 31 July 2019 Evidence suggests that these prehistoric grains were gathered, ground, sieved, kneaded, and then baked, in a similar process as today’s. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Archeologists Find World's Oldest Bread," 17 July 2018 Solution: The key to smoothing it out is sieving it. Mandy Major, Woman's Day, "10 Common Cooking Mistakes—Solved," 11 May 2011 Recently six men sieving it for an hour with a 100-foot net came up with only two dozen four-inch creatures that elsewhere would be called crappies and catfish. New York Times, "Nearly Eradicated in Humans, the Guinea Worm Finds New Victims: Dogs," 18 June 2018 Social media have helped bring on a new era, enabling individuated encounters with the news that confirm biases and sieve out contravening facts. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The End of Reality," 8 Apr. 2018

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

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sieve.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for sieve


How to pronounce sieve (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sieve

Spanish Central: Translation of sieve

Nglish: Translation of sieve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sieve for Arabic Speakers

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