sift

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English siftan (to sift). Cognate with Dutch ziften (to sift) and also English sieve.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

sift (third-person singular simple present sifts, present participle sifting, simple past and past participle sifted)

  1. To sieve or strain (something).
  2. To separate or scatter (things) as if by sieving.
  3. To examine (something) carefully.
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 28.
      But if we still carry on our sifting humour, and ask, What is the foundation of all conclusions from experience ? this implies a new question.
    • It immediately occurred to him to sift her on the subject of Isabella and Theodore.

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