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sift

[sift] /sɪft/
verb (used with object)
1.
to separate and retain the coarse parts of (flour, ashes, etc.) with a sieve.
2.
to scatter or sprinkle through or by means of a sieve:
to sift sugar onto cake.
3.
to separate by or as if by a sieve.
4.
to examine closely:
The detectives are still sifting the evidence.
5.
to question closely.
verb (used without object)
6.
to sift something.
7.
to pass or fall through or as if through a sieve.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English siften, Old English siftan; cognate with Dutch, Middle Low German siften; akin to sieve
Related forms
outsift, verb (used with object)
presift, verb (used with object)
resift, verb (used with object)
unsifted, adjective
Synonyms
4. sort, scrutinize, inspect, search, probe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for outsift

sift

/sɪft/
verb
1.
(transitive) to sieve (sand, flour, etc) in order to remove the coarser particles
2.
to scatter (something) over a surface through a sieve
3.
(transitive) to separate with or as if with a sieve; distinguish between
4.
(transitive) to examine minutely to sift evidence
5.
(intransitive) to move as if through a sieve
Derived Forms
sifter, noun
Word Origin
Old English siftan; related to Middle Low German siften to sift, Dutch ziften; see sieve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for outsift
sift
O.E. siftan "pass something through a sieve," related to sife (see sieve). Cf. Du. ziften, M.L.G. sichten, Ger. sichten "to sift." Metaphoric sense of "look carefully through" first recorded 1535.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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