To bake a cake, you sift the flour to get out the lumps. When you sift, you separate out one thing from another.

When you sort through the mail looking for the bills or go through your photos to find that shot of your dog, that’s sifting, too. Detectives sift through piles of evidence when investigating crimes, and you might sift through the hundred applications you get from drummers eager to join your band, to find Ms. Right. When you're at the beach, you can sift sand through your fingers, and you might see big machines that sift the sand to clean it.

Definitions of sift
  1. verb
    move as if through a sieve
    “The soldiers sifted through the woods”
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    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  2. verb
    separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements
    sift the flour”
    synonyms: sieve, strain
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    show 4 types...
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    sieve so that it becomes the consistency of rice
    sift anew
    riddle, screen
    separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
    fan, winnow
    separate the chaff from by using air currents
    type of:
    divide into components or constituents
  3. verb
    distinguish and separate out
    sift through the job candidates”
    synonyms: sieve
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    type of:
    choose, pick out, select, take
    pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives
  4. verb
    check and sort carefully
    sift the information”
    synonyms: sieve
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    type of:
    analyse, analyze, canvas, canvass, delve, examine, parse, study
    consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning
Word Family

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