Pronunciation Verb

sift (sifts, present participle sifting; past and past participle sifted)

  1. To sieve or strain (something).
  2. To separate or scatter (things) as if by sieving.
  3. To examine (something) carefully.
    1. [+object] (archaic or old-fashioned) To scrutinise (someone or something) carefully so as to find the truth.
      • 1595 December 9 (first known performance)​, William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i], page 23 ↗, column 1:
        As neere as I could ſift him on that argument,
        On ſome apparant danger ſeene in him,
        Aym‘d at your Highneſſe, no inueterate malice.
        It immediately occurred to him to sift her on the subject of Isabella and Theodore.
    2. [+ through#English|through (object)] To carefully go through a set of objects, or a collection of information, in order to find something.
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