sift

verb
\ ˈsift \
sifted; sifting; sifts

Definition of sift

transitive verb

1a : to put through a sieve sift flour
b : to separate or separate out by or as if by putting through a sieve
2 : to go through especially to sort out what is useful or valuable sifted the evidence often used with through sift through a pile of old letters
3 : to scatter by or as if by sifting sift sugar on a cake

intransitive verb

1 : to use a sieve
2 : to pass or fall as if through a sieve

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Other Words from sift

sifter noun

Examples of sift in a Sentence

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Sift the lumps from the sugar. The police sifted the evidence in hopes of finding a clue. The police sifted for clues. The lawyer sifted through the hundreds of pages of testimony. Firefighters sifted through the debris.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, Rockefeller and co-founder Andy Kratz have turned to the romance of travel for inspiration, sifting through 1980s back issues of National Geographic during their brainstorming process. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Everyone Wants an Away Suitcase," 26 Nov. 2018 Trump is still sifting through the legislative tool box in Washington, and the rescissions process is an instrument at his disposal. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Trump, GOP plan to rescind budget spending has precedent but rocky path in Congress," 2 Oct. 2018 However, sifting through them all can get a bit exhausting. The Cut, "27 Luxury Father’s Day Gifts for the Dad Who Has Everything," 14 June 2018 Now News Group obtained and sifted through data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to determine the 12 most crash-prone intersections in the suburbs surrounding Milwaukee. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As you hit the roadways, be aware of these 12 crash-prone intersections in the Milwaukee area," 24 May 2018 Hence the most moving scene in the film, when various people are blown away—not shot or blasted but sifted and dispersed, dust to dust, and swiftly gone with the wind. Michelle Mcnamara, The New Yorker, "“Avengers: Infinity War” and “Let the Sunshine In”," 27 Apr. 2018 In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Double White Chocolate Cake," 29 Nov. 2018 You may be inspired to sift through old photos, journal entries, or even reach out to someone from the past. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Taurus Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 The archaeologists use special vacuum equipment to carry soil from the underwater excavations to the shore, where it can be sifted for artifacts. Tom Metcalfe, Fox News, "Ancient church hidden in Turkish lake and a Pagan temple may lie beneath it," 6 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sift.' 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 sift

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for sift

Middle English, from Old English siftan; akin to Old English sife sieve

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Dictionary Entries near sift

Sifflet

siffleur

sifrei torah

sift

siftage

sifting

sig

Statistics for sift

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sift

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

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More Definitions for sift

sift

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sift

: to put (flour, sugar, etc.) through a sifter or sieve
: to separate or remove (something) by using a sifter or sieve
: to go through (something) very carefully in order to find something useful or valuable

sift

verb
\ ˈsift \
sifted; sifting

Kids Definition of sift

1 : to pass or cause to pass through a sieve sift flour
2 : to separate or separate out by or as if by passing through a sieve I sifted the lumps.
3 : to test or examine carefully Police will sift through the evidence.

Other Words from sift

sifter noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sift

Spanish Central: Translation of sift

Nglish: Translation of sift for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sift for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sift

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