Sift Sift, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sifted; p. pr. & vb. n. Sifting.] [AS. siftan, from sife sieve. [root]151a. See Sieve.] 1. To separate with a sieve, as the fine part of a substance from the coarse; as, to sift meal or flour; to sift powder; to sift sand or lime. 2. To separate or part as if with a sieve. When yellow sands are sifted from below, The glittering billows give a golden show. --Dryden. 3. To examine critically or minutely; to scrutinize. Sifting the very utmost sentence and syllable. --Hooker. Opportunity I here have had To try thee, sift thee. --Milton. Let him but narrowly sift his ideas. --I. Taylor. To sift out, to search out with care, as if by sifting.