sieve

A sieve is a mesh strainer used to separate lumps and clumps from the fine material. Sieves are handy for everything from sifting flour to prospecting for gold — anything where you need to separate the big from the small.

If you’re an archaeologist, you've probably used various sorts of sifters and shakers to sieve through the soil to recover even the tiniest artifacts. If your interests run more to building sandcastles, you’ve probably got a sieve in your beach bag, along with the shovels and pails. If you keep forgetting things, you can describe your "mind as a sieve," since it doesn’t seem to hold much.

Definitions of sieve
1

n a strainer for separating lumps from powdered material or grading particles

Synonyms:
screen
Types:
riddle
a coarse sieve (as for gravel)
sifter
a household sieve (as for flour)
Type of:
strainer
a filter to retain larger pieces while smaller pieces and liquids pass through

v separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements

Synonyms:
sift, strain
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
rice
sieve so that it becomes the consistency of rice
resift
sift anew
riddle, screen
separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
fan, winnow
separate the chaff from by using air currents
Type of:
separate
divide into components or constituents

v distinguish and separate out

Synonyms:
sift
Type of:
choose, pick out, select, take
pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives

v examine in order to test suitability

Synonyms:
screen, screen out, sort
Type of:
choose, pick out, select, take
pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives

v check and sort carefully

Synonyms:
sift
Type of:
analyse, analyze, canvas, canvass, examine, study
consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning

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