To separate with a sieve, as the fine part of a substance from the coarse; as, to sift meal or flour; to sift powder; to sift sand or lime.
- To put (flour, for example) through a sieve or other straining device 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 with or as if with a sieve: sift sugar on a dessert.
- To examine and sort carefully: sift the evidence.
- To make use of a sieve.
- To pass through or as if through a sieve: a meal that sifts easily.
- To make a careful examination: sifted through back issues of the magazine.