\ 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 Dallas did, however, scored 12 of the last 14 points to pull within 22-20 after one quarter, but the Mavericks’ defense became a sieve in the second quarter. Dallas News, "After another ugly home loss, it’s time for the Mavericks to look in the mirror," 18 Apr. 2021 Even with their recent spate of sieve-like play, the Spurs still boast the No. 10 defense in the NBA, allowing 110.7 points per 100 possessions. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs hope Cavs prove the fix for their malfunctioning defense," 4 Apr. 2021 That’s where the second tool, called a sieve, comes in. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Find a New Class of Digitally Delicate Primes," 30 Mar. 2021 Place a colander or a sieve over a bowl to catch seeds. Laura Duerr,, "How to juice a lemon," 13 Mar. 2021 With a slotted spoon or small sieve, skim away and discard any of the skins that have floated to the top. Beth Segal, cleveland, "From Aquafaba to Za’atar: The Complete Chickpea," 11 Mar. 2021 Rub the seeds inside a sieve while washing and then soak in water for two days. Jodi Bay, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden Mastery: How to save seeds to re-create next season’s vegetables," 17 Aug. 2020 Pour sauce over scallops; strain it through a sieve, if desired, for a more pleasing appearance. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "To curry favor, favor curry: 6 recipes," 12 Apr. 2021 Strain through fine-mesh sieve and let cool completely (discard berries or save for another use). Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Fresh Berry Lemonade," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Place a colander or sieve over a bowl and add the artichoke quarters, letting their oil drain into the bowl. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "The freedom, and serenity, in using prepared artichokes," 26 Apr. 2021 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

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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 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

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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