sift Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sift” in the English Dictionary

"sift" in British English

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siftverb [T]

uk   us   /sɪft/
  • 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

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siftverb

 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)
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“sift” in British English

“sift” in American English

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