- 1[transitive] sift something to put flour or some other fine substance through a sieve / sifter Sift the flour into a bowl.
- 2[transitive, intransitive] to examine something very carefully in order to decide what is important or useful or to find something important sift something We will sift every scrap of evidence. Computers are being used to sift the information. sift through something Crash investigators have been sifting through the wreckage of the aircraft.
- 3[transitive] sift something (out) from something to separate something from a group of things He sifted the relevant data from the rest. She looked quickly through the papers, sifting out from the pile anything that looked interesting. Word Origin Old English siftan, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch ziften, also to sieve.Extra examples He’s mentally sifting for truths. I spent hours sifting through those heavy art books. Sift the flour finely before adding it to the mixture. They spent days carefully sifting through the evidence. They will try to sift out the winners and the losers. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. You will need 100g self-raising flour, sifted. Phrasal Verbssift somethingout
BrE BrE//sɪft//; NAmE NAmE//sɪft//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sift
BrE BrE//sɪft//; NAmE NAmE//sɪft//he / she / it sifts
BrE BrE//sɪfts//; NAmE NAmE//sɪfts//past simple sifted
BrE BrE//ˈsɪftɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪftɪd//past participle sifted
BrE BrE//ˈsɪftɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪftɪd//-ing form sifting
BrE BrE//ˈsɪftɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪftɪŋ//