Definition of sifting in US English:



  • 1The action of sifting something.

    ‘the laborious sifting of evidence took its toll’
    • ‘Will two centuries of sifting really leave La Dolce Vita, Raging Bull, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Sweeney Todd on the same scrapheap as the works of Thackeray?’
    • ‘Admittedly, it may be the invisible hand that is doing much of the sifting.’
    • ‘The paper praised him for his "continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found."’
    • ‘A cardholder, aware of the delay in the sifting of information by the computer centre, withdraws excessive amounts by relying on a balance he knows to be out of date.’
    • ‘He analyses truth as complex and many-angled, scattered in the fallen world, to be recovered by sifting and debate.’
    • ‘The brunt of sifting takes place during implementation.’
    • ‘When he and his associates make a very embarrassing mistake in their sifting of the facts, it drives a wedge between them and the people they're trying to help.’
    • ‘The impression of profound thought and relentless sifting of the ideas can only inspire respect.’
    • ‘Centuries of the most diligent sifting have not produced a play or any part of a play in his own hand.’
    • ‘The winnowed wheat is washed and then carried to the mill for grinding and sifting by two horizontal waterwheels underneath.’
    1. 1.1 An amount of sifted material.
      ‘a fine sifting of plaster dust powdered the floor’
      • ‘Put the loaves, seam side down, in baking dishes that have been greased and dusted with a sifting of cornmeal.’
      • ‘The components: a drop of water, a drop of blood, and a sifting of ash.’
      • ‘If it gets a little sticky, add a sifting of cornstarch, but just a dusting.’
      • ‘A stack of sixteen hoops, divided by a slight sifting of chaff to separate the cakes, had been completed and taken to one of the four men who would express the oil.’
      • ‘A fine sifting of powder had accumulated on the floor making a delicate stencil of my feet like a pointillistic art piece.’
      • ‘I experimented with a light sifting of powder over everything to tone down the brightness of the colours.’
      • ‘It was delicious with a nice texture and served with a sifting of powdered sugar on top.’
      • ‘Before baking, decorate the top of each cookie with half a nutmeat and a sifting of sugar, if desired.’
      • ‘I added it with the sifting of the flour and the other dry ingredients.’
      • ‘For a stucco wall, I used a spray of adhesive followed with a fine sifting of talc.’