Definition of sift
1a : to put through a sieve sift flourb : 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
1 : to use a sieve
2 : to pass or fall as if through a sieve
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.
Recent Examples of sift from the Web
Algorithms such as neural networks excel in sifting signal from background, says Pushpalatha Bhat, a physicist at Fermilab.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour and salt.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Any person with a web connection can participate in news coverage, follow contradicting reports, sift through blurry photos, and pick out (or publish) bad information.
What may have spurred the earliest mysticetes to split off from their ancestors, then, might have been the shift to suction feeding and sifting tasty morsels out of the bottom sediment.
Now, as student attitudes toward sex trend toward the casual, college officials are sifting through case after case of what both parties frequently say started as a consensual act but then disagree over whether consent was withdrawn.
In the airport, the researchers speculate, a stingray could be a powerful tool for sifting through a large crowd to find a criminal suspect’s phone.
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.
Origin and Etymology of sift
Middle English, from Old English siftan; akin to Old English sife sieve
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
SIFT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sift for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of sift for Students
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.
Seen and Heard
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