The prospector poured river water over the sand and pebbles to sift away the debris in search of gold.
- An example of sift is using a gold mining pan to strain gold from sand.
- An example of sift is to pass flour through a screen to separate out the lumps.
- An example of sift is sorting through garbage to find recyclable items.
- to pass through a sieve so as to separate the coarse from the fine particles, or to break up lumps, as of flour
- to scatter (a pulverized substance) by or as by the use of a sieve
- to inspect or examine with care, as by testing or questioning; weigh (evidence, etc.)
- to separate; screen; distinguish: to sift fact from fable
Origin of siftMiddle English siften from Old English siftan from sife, sieve
- to sift something
- to pass through or as through a sieve
verbsift·ed, sift·ing, sifts
- To put (flour, for example) through a sieve in order to separate the fine from the coarse particles.
- To distinguish as if separating with a sieve: sifted the candidates for the job.
- To apply by scattering through a sieve: sift sugar on a dessert.
- To examine and sort carefully: sift the evidence.
- To make use of a sieve.
- To pass through a sieve: a meal that sifts easily.
- To make a careful examination: sifted through back issues of the magazine.
Origin of siftMiddle English siften from Old English siftan
(third-person singular simple present sifts, present participle sifting, simple past and past participle sifted)