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Riddle vs Sift - What's the difference?

riddle | sift |

As a proper noun riddle

is .

As a verb sift is

to sieve or strain (something).



Etymology 1

From (etyl) (m), (m), from (etyl) .


(en noun)
  • A verbal puzzle, mystery, or other problem of an intellectual nature.
  • :
  • *(John Milton) (1608-1674)
  • *:To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret, / That solved the riddle which I had proposed.
  • *
  • *:Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ ("I never) understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
  • Synonyms
    * enigma, conundrum, brain-teaser
    Derived terms
    * riddler * riddle stick * a riddle wrapped up in an enigma


  • To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
  • To solve, answer, or explicate a riddle or question
  • Riddle me this'', meaning ''Answer the following question.

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) (m), . More at (l).


    (en noun)
  • A sieve with coarse meshes, usually of wire, for separating coarser materials from finer, as chaff from grain, cinders from ashes, or gravel from sand.
  • A board with a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.
  • Verb

  • To put something through a .
  • You have to riddle the gravel before you lay it on the road.
  • * '>citation
  • To fill with holes like a .
  • The machinegun fire began to riddle the poor Afghanis.
  • To fill or spread throughout; to pervade.
  • Your argument is riddled with errors.


    * (l)




  • To sieve or strain (something).
  • To separate or scatter (things) as if by sieving.
  • To examine (something) carefully.
  • * 1748 . David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 28.
  • But if we still carry on our sifting humour, and ask, What is the foundation of all conclusions from experience ? this implies a new question.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1764 , author= , title= , pageurl=http://www.gutenberg.org/files/696/696-h/696-h.htm , page= , publisher=}}
    It immediately occurred to him to sift her on the subject of Isabella and Theodore.

    Derived terms

    * sifter


    * *