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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
have a memory like a sieve (=forget things very easily)
▪ I'm sorry, I have a memory like a sieve. I forgot you were coming today!
▪ Put the soup in a food processor or blender, or push through a fine sieve, and return to the pan.
▪ Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a pot.
▪ Cook a few tart apples along with a sprig or two of mint and strain through a fine sieve.
▪ Strain the stock through a fine strainer or sieve.
▪ Strain marinade through a fine sieve, reserving onions and marinating juices separately.
▪ Force chilies through a food mill or sieve, straining out seeds and skins.
▪ Now place a sieve over a big bowl.
▪ Or put some ice cubes in the sieve before straining the soup, Roraback suggests.
▪ Pleased with the way dust has settled on the sieves.
▪ Press a sieve gently over the surface to create a textured effect.
▪ Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a pot.
▪ Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and pour into a sauce boat.
▪ The fines continue to be washed through the sieve until the water runs clear.
▪ Josh shuffled off down the lip of the basin still sieving the water.
▪ Liquidise or sieve half the soup and return it to the pot with the remainder.
▪ Liquidise the soup and then sieve it.
▪ Purée and sieve remaining fruit, and pour over turned-out pudding before serving.
▪ Stone the prunes, sieve them, with any remaining juice.
▪ Then they are stoneground or mechanically milled and sieved.
▪ They sieved the tides of fate.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sieve \Sieve\, n. [OE. sive, AS. sife; akin to D. zeef, zift, OHG. sib, G. sieb. [root]151a. Cf. Sift.]

  1. A utensil for separating the finer and coarser parts of a pulverized or granulated substance from each other. It consist of a vessel, usually shallow, with the bottom perforated, or made of hair, wire, or the like, woven in meshes. ``In a sieve thrown and sifted.''

  2. A kind of coarse basket.

    Sieve cells (Bot.), cribriform cells. See under Cribriform.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English sife "sieve," from Proto-Germanic *sib (cognates: Middle Dutch seve, Dutch zeef, Old High German sib, German Sieb), from PIE *seib- "to pour out, sieve, drip, trickle" (see soap (n.)). Related to sift. The Sieve of Eratosthenes (1803) is a contrivance for finding prime numbers. Sieve and shears formerly were used in divinations.


late 15c., from sieve (n.). Related: Sieved; sieving.\n


n. 1 A device to separate#Verb, in a granular material, larger particles from smaller ones, or to separate solid objects from a liquid. 2 A process, physical or abstract, that arrives at a final result by filtering out unwanted pieces of input from a larger starting set of input. vb. To strain, sift or sort using a sieve.


n. a strainer for separating lumps from powdered material or grading particles [syn: screen]

  1. v. examine in order to test suitability; "screen these samples"; "screen the job applicants" [syn: screen, screen out, sort]

  2. check and sort carefully; "sift the information" [syn: sift]

  3. separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements; "sift the flour" [syn: sift, strain]

  4. distinguish and separate out; "sift through the job candidates" [syn: sift]


A sieve, or sifter, is a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material or for characterizing the particle size distribution of a sample, typically using a woven screen such as a mesh or net or metal. The word "sift" derives from "sieve". In cooking, a sifter is used to separate and break up clumps in dry ingredients such as flour, as well as to aerate and combine them. A strainer is a form of sieve used to separate solids from liquid.

Sieve (category theory)

In category theory, a branch of mathematics, a sieve is a way of choosing arrows with a common codomain. It is a categorical analogue of a collection of open subsets of a fixed open set in topology. In a Grothendieck topology, certain sieves become categorical analogues of open covers in topology.

Sieve (mail filtering language)

Sieve is a programming language that can be used for email filtering. It owes its creation to the CMU Cyrus Project, creators of Cyrus IMAP server.

The language is not tied to any particular operating system or mail architecture. It requires the use of RFC 2822-compliant messages, but otherwise should generalize to other systems that meet these criteria. The current version of Sieve's base specification is outlined in RFC 5228, published in January 2008.

Sieve (river)

The Sieve is a river in Italy. It is a tributary of the Arno River, into which it flows at Pontassieve after a course of 62 km. The Sieve rises in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, near the Futa Pass, at 930 m of elevation.

The territory in which it flows is known in Italian as Valdisieve. In Italian language, the name "Sieve" is feminine, and is therefore referred to as La Sieve.

Sieve (disambiguation)

A sieve is a tool to separate materials of one characteristic (for example, liquids) from materials of another (for example, solids).

Sieve may also refer to:

Sieve (hieroglyph)

The Ancient Egyptiansieve hieroglyph is Gardiner sign listed no. Aa1 for the shape of a circular sieve; it is also seen as a ' placenta'.

Usage examples of "sieve".

He carefully fit the sieve into the throat of a flask, and turned to Gaspare, who was bent over the vessel like a chymist before his alembic.

When perfectly soft, drain in colander, press out all of the water, rub the squash through a sieve and return it to the saucepan.

An old man of Dombes who foretold the future by shaking grains of barley on a sieve, was thrown into a well.

There was still a wink of gold in it, like no ordinary farmyard fertilizer, telling her where it had come from, but it was as if two seasons of weather and earthworms had already sieved and stirred and transformed it into something she and her rosebushes loved much better than gold.

The latter contains Nobel and Schoene elutriators, together with viscosimeters of the flow and the Coulomb and Clark electrical types, sieves, voluminometers, colorimeters, vernier shrinkage gauges, micrometers, microscopes, and the necessary balances.

It is especially true for Landscapers, because we are the sieve through which Ephemera manifests what is reflected in all those hearts.

Thither the extremely large wains bring foison of the fields, flaskets of cauliflowers, floats of spinach, pineapple chunks, Rangoon beans, strikes of tomatoes, drums of figs, drills of Swedes, spherical potatoes and tallies of iridescent kale, York and Savoy, and trays of onions, pearls of the earth, and punnets of mushrooms and custard marrows and fat vetches and bere and rape and red green yellow brown russet sweet big bitter ripe pomellated apples and chips of strawberries and sieves of gooseberries, pulpy and pelurious, and strawberries fit for princes and raspberries from their canes.

They show that having passed through such a sieve is no proof of sufficient powdering, not that all ores powdered and so sifted are unfit for assaying.

Press the cheese through a potato ricer or sieve, then add the sugar, salt, butter, lemon juice, and the egg yolks well beaten and mixed with the milk.

The walls of the small room were covered with various cutting instruments, scrapers, cleaners, veiners, nets, and sieves.

Instead, Eli Strone was deeply preoccupied at a pulsed-laser bacterial sorter, a processing sieve that separated out desirable species from the unwanted ones.

Pain mantled him under a suffocating blanket, until the pressed weight of his suffering drilled his skull like a sieve and scattered his thoughts like spilled water.

The soil samples he took today would be sieved back at the lab for microfossils, insect remains, seeds, plant matter.

Meanwhile Richard Sawkins ran his canoa--which was a mere sieve of cedar wood, owing to the broadside--alongside the second periagua, and took her steering oar.

To quirl the yolks run them through the sieve of a patent potato masher.