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  Dictionary Definition of sift

sift
verb (t)
1. to separate the coarse parts of (flour, ashes, etc.) with a sieve.
2. to scatter by means of a sieve: to sift sugar on to cake.
3. to separate by or as by a sieve.
4. to examine closely.
5. to question closely.
-- verb (i)
6. to use a sieve; sift something.
7. to pass through, or as through a sieve.
[ME siften, OE siftan (from sife SIEVE ), c. G sichten ]
-- sifter, noun