[ siv ]
/ sɪv /


an instrument with a meshed or perforated bottom, used for separating coarse from fine parts of loose matter, for straining liquids, etc., especially one with a circular frame and fine meshes or perforations.
a person who cannot keep a secret.

verb (used with or without object), sieved, siev·ing.

to put or force through a sieve; sift.

Origin of sieve

before 900; Middle English sive, Old English sife; cognate with Dutch zeef, German Sieb; akin to sift


sieve·like, adjectiveun·sieved, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for sieve

British Dictionary definitions for sieve

/ (sɪv) /


a device for separating lumps from powdered material, straining liquids, grading particles, etc, consisting of a container with a mesh or perforated bottom through which the material is shaken or poured
rare a person who gossips and spreads secrets
memory like a sieve or head like a sieve a very poor memory


to pass or cause to pass through a sieve
(tr often foll by out) to separate or remove (lumps, materials, etc) by use of a sieve

Derived forms of sieve

sievelike, adjective

Word Origin for sieve

Old English sife; related to Old Norse sef reed with hollow stalk, Old High German sib sieve, Dutch zeef
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012