an instrument with a meshed or perforated bottom, used for separating coarse from fine parts of loose matter, for straining liquids, etc., especially one with a circular frame and fine meshes or perforations.
a person who cannot keep a secret.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), sieved, sieving.
to put or force through a sieve; sift.

before 900; Middle English sive, Old English sife; cognate with Dutch zeef, German Sieb; akin to sift

sievelike, adjective
unsieved, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sieve (sɪv)
1.  a device for separating lumps from powdered material, straining liquids, grading particles, etc, consisting of a container with a mesh or perforated bottom through which the material is shaken or poured
2.  rare a person who gossips and spreads secrets
3.  memory like a sieve, head like a sieve a very poor memory
vb (often foll by out)
4.  to pass or cause to pass through a sieve
5.  to separate or remove (lumps, materials, etc) by use of a sieve
[Old English sife; related to Old Norse sef reed with hollow stalk, Old High German sib sieve, Dutch zeef]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. sife "sieve," from P.Gmc. *sibi (cf. M.Du. seve, Du. zeef, O.H.G. sib, Ger. Sieb), of unknown origin. Related to sift. The verb is recorded from 1499. Sieve and shears formerly were used in divinations.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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