\ ˈsift How to pronounce sift (audio) \
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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Even then, there’s a lot to sift through there as well. Jamila Stewart, Essence, 22 Dec. 2021 Marketing’s job is to sift among them for the best and offer them the legitimate power of a significant financial commitment and association with the bank’s brand, which benefits both parties. Jeff Bradford, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 There’s still a lot of data to sift through to dig into the finer details contained in each report. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 22 Apr. 2022 Of course, shopping the Target swim sale can be overwhelming at first, since there are literally hundreds of items to sift through. Jake Smith, Glamour, 30 Mar. 2022 Part of it’s all the information out there about happiness, which can be hard to sift through, but a lot of it is a deeper thing in our culture that seems to be leading us astray. David Marchesephoto Illustration By Bráulio Amado, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2022 Ordinary players have no idea that the field has been so far narrowed, of course—and 542 words is still a lot of options to sift through. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 29 Jan. 2022 Outside in the yard are dozens of boxes, each containing bags of makeup products to sift through and organize, all retrieved from the Euphoria makeup trailer after filming wrapped. Kirbie Johnson, Allure, 13 May 2022 These companies often have access to powerful machine learning software that can sift through huge numbers of transactions and look for leads. Declan Harty, Fortune, 12 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for sift

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sift

sifrei torah



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Statistics for sift

Last Updated

12 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for sift


\ ˈsift How to pronounce sift (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on sift

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sift

Nglish: Translation of sift for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sift for Arabic Speakers


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