sift Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “sift” in the English Dictionary

"sift" in British English

See all translations

siftverb [T]

uk   us   /sɪft/

sift verb [T] (SEPARATE)

to put ​flour, ​sugar, etc. through a ​sieve (= ​wirenetshaped like a ​bowl) to ​break up ​largepieces: When the ​cake is ​cooked, sift some ​icingsugar over the ​top of it.

sift verb [T] (EXAMINE)

to make a ​closeexamination of all the ​parts of something in ​order to ​find something or to ​separate what is ​useful from what is not: The ​police are sifting the ​evidence very ​carefully to ​try and ​find the ​guiltyperson. After my father's ​death, I had to sift through all his ​papers. The ​police are ​trying to sift out the ​genuinewarnings from all the ​hoaxcalls they have ​received.
(Definition of sift from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sift" in American English

See all translations


 us   /sɪft/

sift verb (SEPARATE)

[T] to ​shake a ​powderedsubstance through a sieve in ​order to ​breaklumps into very ​smallgrains: Sift some ​powderedsugar on ​top of the ​cake.

sift verb (EXAMINE)

[I/T] to make a ​closeexamination of something: [T] The ​police are ​carefully sifting the ​evidence. [I] I had to sift through all my ​papers.
(Definition of sift from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sift?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day


to go from place to place searching, especially for food

Word of the Day

Meerkat meme
Meerkat meme
by Colin McIntosh,
September 03, 2015
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More