Meaning of SIEVE in English


I. ˈsiv noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English sive, seve, from Old English sife; akin to Middle Dutch seve sieve, Old High German sib sieve, Old Norse sef rush (plant), Serbian sípiti to drizzle; basic meaning: drip, trickle


a. : a meshed or perforated device or utensil through which dry loose material (as flour or ashes) is winnowed or refined, material containing liquid is strained, and soft solids (as hard-boiled eggs) are comminuted by forcing (as with a pestle) ; sometimes : sifter

b. : material meshed or perforated like a sieve

strips of sieve

2. : a meshed or perforated sheet (as of metal or cloth) with apertures of uniform size used to separate powdered or granulated material according to the size of its particles as:

a. : one woven from wire cloth having square apertures and used chiefly in a chemistry laboratory

b. : a rectangular wooden frame covered with wire screen on one side and silk cloth on the other and used in a flour-milling sifter

3. : gossip

the sieve of a patron let it out — Lord Byron

4. slang : a body riddled by bullets

made a mistake trying to kill his ex-wife's new husband — ending up a sieve — Bill O'Rourke

5. : sieve of eratosthenes — usually used with the

first proposed by the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Eratosthenes and … usually known as the sieve — George Gamow

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb


a. : to put through a sieve or sifter or meshed material

sieved avocado

sieve the cocoa with the flour

the oxide catalyst is … crushed and sieved to give granules of uniform size — E.R.Riegel

b. : to separate or separate out by putting through a sieve or sifter or meshed material

sieve the juice from the pulp

— usually used with out

sieve out the finer grains


a. : to study (a whole) carefully for the purpose of extracting a part : screen

a hundred candidates must be sieved to find one who knows the score — H.M.Silver

b. : to separate by a process of careful study or by trial : winnow — usually used with out

sieve out inessentials

the test sieved out several of the candidates

in order to identify the essence of a national style one must sieve out the radical evidence — Harvey Breit

3. : perforate

the ceiling … sieved with millions of pinpoint holes for ventilation — New Republic

intransitive verb

1. : to use a sieve or sifter : do sieving

2. : to pass through or as if through a sieve or sifter or meshed material

the dust from the ashes sieved through

her mother's voice … sieved through the screen … out of the lighted kitchen — John Hermann

— compare sift

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.