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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Sift v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sifted; p. pr. & vb. n. Sifting.]
 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.