sift - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “sift”

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sift

verb [T] uk   us   /sɪft/

sift verb [T] (SEPARATE)

to put flour, sugar, etc. through a sieve (= wire net shaped like a bowl) to break up large pieces: When the cake is cooked, sift some icing sugar over the top of it.

sift verb [T] (EXAMINE)

to make a close examination 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 guilty person. After my father's death, I had to sift through all his papers. The police are trying to sift out the genuine warnings from all the hoax calls they have received.
(Definition of sift from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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