SIFT, verb transitive. 1. To separate by a sieve, as the fine part of a substance from the coarse; as, to sift meal; to sift powder; to sift sand or lime. 2. To separate; to part. 3. To examine minutely or critically; to scrutinize. Let the principles of the party be thoroughly sifted. We have sifted your objections.
Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828