sift

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sift (something) from (something else)

1. Literally, to use a sieve or a similar tool or method to remove small things from a larger substance. Be sure to use a sieve to sift any lumps from the sugar before you add it to the mixture. People used to sift flecks of gold from the soil in this river way back in the late 1800s.
2. To isolate and remove something from some larger thing or group after or with careful examination. We have a very rigorous application process to sift unsuitable candidates from those we would like to have on our team.
See also: sift

sift out

1. Literally, to use a sieve or a similar tool or method to remove small things from a larger substance. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sift" and "out." Be sure to use a sieve to sift out any lumps from the sugar before you add it to the mixture. People used to sift flecks of gold out of the soil in this river back in the late 1800s.
2. To isolate and remove something from some larger thing or group after or with careful examination. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sift" and "out." We have a very rigorous vetting process to sift unsuitable candidates out of the application pool. Our telephone operators are under huge pressure on a daily basis to sift out prank calls from legitimate ones.
See also: out, sift

sift through

1. Literally, to put some substance through a sieve or a similar tool in order to remove smaller particles or things. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sift" and "through." Be sure to sift the sugar through a sieve to get rid of any lumps before adding it to the mixture.
2. To conduct a careful examination of some substance or group in order to isolate or remove something. We're spending the weekend sifting through all the applicants to determine a short list we can bring in for interviews. Our telephone operators have to sift through a huge volume of calls determining which are pranks and which are legitimate. He's sifting through the sand trying to find his lost ring.
See also: sift, through

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.
See also: sift

sift something out of something

 and 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.
See also: of, out, sift

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.
See also: sift, through

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.
See also: sift, through

sift out

v.
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.
See also: out, sift

sift through

v.
To search through some container or collection: I sifted through the laundry pile to find a pair of socks.
See also: sift, through
References in periodicals archive ?
I was constantly told by their supervisors to "move the job," to run the conveyor belts faster, and to "keep the tonnage up," referring to the tons sifted per hour.
On low speed, alternately add sifted mixture in 3 additions with sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with sifted mixture.
Decorate cupcakes with sprinkles, M&Ms, chopped nuts, toffee, peppermint candies, jelly beans, chopped or shaved (with a vegetable peeler) light, dark or white chocolate, cookie crumbs, gumdrops, sifted cocoa powder, fresh fruits, edible fresh flowers, candied flower petals, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar plus additional for dusting
Sprinkle tops of shells with additional sifted powdered sugar.
Once the bombe has set up in the fridge several hours or overnight, turn out and frost with chocolate ganache (the restaurant uses a different chocolate frosting), then dust with sifted cocoa powder and return to the fridge until serving.
2) The wreckage of an experimental Thorp T-18 plane is sifted through by NTSB investigators Monday on Zuma Beach.
CHOCOLATE GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa and 1 tablespoon butter, softened.
ONE-CRUST PIE SHELL: Use 1 1/3 cups sifted flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup Wesson Oil and 3 tablespoons milk.