Definition of Drift

1. Noun. A force that moves something along.

Exact synonyms: Impetus, Impulsion
Generic synonyms: Force
Derivative terms: Impel

2. Verb. Be in motion due to some air or water current. "The shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore"
Exact synonyms: Be Adrift, Blow, Float
Generic synonyms: Go, Locomote, Move, Travel
Related verbs: Float
Specialized synonyms: Waft, Tide, Stream
Derivative terms: Blow

3. Noun. The gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane).
Category relationships: Aeroplane, Airplane, Plane, Ship
Specialized synonyms: Leeway
Generic synonyms: Action, Activity, Natural Action, Natural Process

4. Verb. Wander from a direct course or at random. "Don't drift from the set course"
Exact synonyms: Err, Stray
Generic synonyms: Go, Locomote, Move, Travel
Related verbs: Cast, Ramble, Range, Roam, Roll, Rove, Stray, Swan, Tramp, Vagabond, Wander
Derivative terms: Driftage, Drifting, Errant, Strayer

5. Noun. A process of linguistic change over a period of time.
Specialized synonyms: Melioration
Generic synonyms: Linguistic Process

6. Verb. Move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment. "They drift in the countryside"; "They rolled from town to town"
Exact synonyms: Cast, Ramble, Range, Roam, Roll, Rove, Stray, Swan, Tramp, Vagabond, Wander
Generic synonyms: Go, Locomote, Move, Travel
Specialized synonyms: Maunder, Gad, Gallivant, Jazz Around
Related verbs: Err, Stray, Wander
Derivative terms: Drifter, Drifting, Ramble, Rambler, Roamer, Roving, Stray, Strayer, Tramp, Vagabond, Vagabond, Vagabondage, Wanderer, Wandering

7. Noun. A large mass of material that is heaped up by the wind or by water currents.
Specialized synonyms: Drumlin, Snowdrift
Generic synonyms: Mass

8. Verb. Vary or move from a fixed point or course. "Stock prices are drifting higher"
Generic synonyms: Vary

9. Noun. A general tendency to change (as of opinion). "A broad movement of the electorate to the right"
Exact synonyms: Movement, Trend
Generic synonyms: Disposition, Inclination, Tendency
Specialized synonyms: Evolutionary Trend, Gravitation
Derivative terms: Drive

10. Verb. Live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely. "My son drifted around for years in California before going to law school"
Exact synonyms: Freewheel
Generic synonyms: Exist, Live, Subsist, Survive
Derivative terms: Freewheeler

11. Noun. The pervading meaning or tenor. "Caught the general drift of the conversation"
Exact synonyms: Purport
Generic synonyms: Strain, Tenor
Derivative terms: Drive

12. Verb. Move in an unhurried fashion. "The unknown young man drifted among the invited guests"
Generic synonyms: Circulate
Related verbs: Freewheel

13. Noun. A horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine. "They dug a drift parallel with the vein"
Exact synonyms: Gallery, Heading
Category relationships: Excavation, Mining
Generic synonyms: Passageway
Derivative terms: Drive

14. Verb. Cause to be carried by a current. "Drift the boats downstream"
Generic synonyms: Float
Related verbs: Be Adrift, Blow, Float

15. Verb. Drive slowly and far afield for grazing. "Drift the cattle herds westwards"
Generic synonyms: Crop, Graze, Pasture

16. Verb. Be subject to fluctuation. "The stock market drifted upward"
Generic synonyms: Change

17. Verb. Be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of wind or a current. "Sand drifting like snow"

Definition of Drift

1. n. A driving; a violent movement.

2. v. i. To float or be driven along by, or as by, a current of water or air; as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore; the balloon drifts slowly east.

3. v. t. To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body.

4. a. That causes drifting or that is drifted; movable by wind or currents; as, drift currents; drift ice; drift mud.

5. n. One of the slower movements of oceanic circulation; a general tendency of the water, subject to occasional or frequent diversion or reversal by the wind; as, the easterly drift of the North Pacific.

Definition of Drift

1. Noun. The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse. ¹

2. Noun. A place, also known as a ford, along a river where the water is shallow enough to permit oxen or sheep to be driven to the opposite side. ¹

3. Noun. Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting. ¹

4. Noun. The tendency of an act, argument, course of conduct, or the like; object aimed at or intended; intention; hence, also, import or meaning of a sentence or discourse; aim. ¹

5. Noun. That which is driven, forced, or urged along ¹

6. Noun. Anything driven at random. ¹

7. Noun. A mass of matter which has been driven or forced onward together in a body, or thrown together in a heap, etc., especially by wind or water; as, a drift of snow, of ice, of sand, and the like. ¹

8. Noun. A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds. ¹

9. Noun. The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments. ¹

10. Noun. A collection of loose earth and rocks, or boulders, which have been distributed over large portions of the earth's surface, especially in latitudes north of forty degrees, by the agency of ice. ¹

11. Noun. (South Africa) a ford in a river. ¹

12. Noun. A slightly tapered tool of steel for enlarging or shaping a hole in metal, by being forced or driven into or through it; a broach. ¹

13. Noun. A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework. ¹

14. Noun. A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles. ¹

15. Noun. (mining) A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel. ¹

16. Noun. The distance through which a current flows in a given time. ¹

17. Noun. (nautical) The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting. ¹

18. Noun. (nautical) The distance to which a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes. ¹

19. Noun. (nautical) The place in a deep-waisted vessel where the sheer is raised and the rail is cut off, and usually terminated with a scroll, or driftpiece. ¹

20. Noun. The distance between the two blocks of a tackle. ¹

21. Noun. The difference between the size of a bolt and the hole into which it is driven, or between the circumference of a hoop and that of the mast on which it is to be driven. ¹

22. Noun. A sideways movement of the ball through the air, when bowled by a spin bowler. ¹

23. Noun. Driftwood included in flotsam washed up onto the beach. ¹

24. Noun. (geology) The material left behind by the retreat of continental glaciers, which buries former river valleys and creates young river valleys. ¹

25. Verb. To move slowly, pushed by currents of water, air, etc. ¹

26. Verb. To move haphazardly without any destination. ¹

27. Verb. To deviate gently from the intended direction of travel. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Drift

1. to move along in a current [v -ED, -ING, -S]

Medical Definition of Drift

1. Collectively, stream invertebrates (almost wholly the aquatic larval stages of insects) that voluntarily or accidentally leave the substrate to move or float with the current, as well as terrestrial invertebrates that drop into the stream. Also, any detrital material transported in the water current. (09 Oct 1997)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Drift

dried plum
dried plums
dried up
dried yeast
drier than a dead dingo's donger
dries out
dries up
drift (current term)
drift apart
drift away
drift cyclotron loss cone instabilities
drift feeder
drift ice
drift line
drift motion
drift movements
drift net
drift off
drift pumping
drift space
drift spaces
drift surface

Literary usage of Drift

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Science by American Association for the Advancement of Science (1899)
"In the north, lakes are largely absent, and there is a considerable amount of stratified drift, with few morainal deposits. In the center, near the northern ..."

2. The Journal of Geology by University of Chicago Department of Geology and Paleontology (1907)
"Deposition of drift. Erosion of drift. INHERENT CHARACTERISTICS OF OLD drift THUS ... First indication of such drift. Western slope of Bluff Point. ..."

3. Science by American Association for the Advancement of Science (1899)
"In the north, lakes are largely absent, and there is a considerable amount of stratified drift, with few morainal deposits. In the center, near the northern ..."

4. The Atlantic Monthly by Making of America Project (1867)
"Pile a few more fragments of drift-wood upon the fire in the great chimney, little maiden, and then couch yourself before it, that I may have your glowing ..."

5. The American Naturalist by American Society of Naturalists (1869)
"THE IOWA drift. — Since my announcement, at the late meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Chicago, of having traced up to ..."

6. The Physical Geography of the Sea by Matthew Fontaine Maury (1855)
"THE drift OF THE SEA. Object of Plate IX., $ 528.—The Eastern Edge of the Gulf Stream sometimes visible, 529.—The Polar drift about Cape Horn, 533. ..."

7. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for by American Philosophical Society (1901)
"In the course of his discourse on " The drift of the Jeannette," Admiral Melville—after recommending that future attempts to explore the unknown area should ..."

8. Report (1904)
"Inasmuch as the older sheets of drift were completely overridden in Michigan in the Wisconsin stage of glaciation, and covered deeply by its drift sheets, ..."

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