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sift something from something
to remove something from something by sifting. Fran sifted all the impurities from the flour before using it. Timmy sifted all the leaves from the sand in his sandbox.
sift something out of somethingand sift something out
to get rid of something in something else by sifting. Dan sifted the impurities out of the flour. Walter sifted out the foreign matter.
sift something through something
to make something pass through something such as a sieve. she sifted the powdered sugar through a strainer. Please sift the soil through this screen and watch for bits of pottery.
sift through something
to examine all parts of something. The fire inspector sifted through the rubble, looking for clues to the start of the fire. We sifted through all the papers in the old trunk, but we did not find what we were looking for.
To separate some class, kind, or size from others with or as if with a sieve: The jeweler sifted out the larger gems. An insurance investigator sifts the honest claims out from the false ones.
To search through some container or collection: I sifted through the laundry pile to find a pair of socks.