drift
I. noun Etymology: Middle English; akin to Old English drīfan to drive — more at drive Date: 14th century 1. a. the act of driving something along b. the flow or the velocity of the current of a river or ocean stream 2. something driven, propelled, or urged along or drawn together in a clump by or as if by a natural agency: as a. wind-driven snow, rain, cloud, dust, or smoke usually at or near the ground surface b. (1) a mass of matter (as sand) deposited together by or as if by wind or water (2) a helter-skelter accumulation c. drove, flock d. something (as driftwood) washed ashore e. rock debris deposited by natural agents; specifically a deposit of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders transported by a glacier or by running water from a glacier 3. a. a general underlying design or tendency <
perceiving the drift of the government's policies
>
b. the underlying meaning, import, or purport of what is spoken or written <
the drift of a conversation
>
4. something (as a tool) driven down upon or forced into a body 5. the motion or action of drifting especially spatially and usually under external influence: as a. the lateral motion of an aircraft due to air currents b. an easy moderate more or less steady flow or sweep along a spatial course c. a gradual shift in attitude, opinion, or position d. an aimless course; especially a foregoing of any attempt at direction or control e. a deviation from a true reproduction, representation, or reading; especially a gradual change in the zero reading of an instrument or in any quantitative characteristic that is supposed to remain constant 6. a. a nearly horizontal mine passageway driven on or parallel to the course of a vein or rock stratum b. a small crosscut in a mine connecting two larger tunnels 7. a. an assumed trend toward a general change in the structure of a language over a period of time b. genetic drift 8. a mass of planted flowers Synonyms: see tendencydrifty adjective II. verb Date: circa 1600 intransitive verb 1. a. to become driven or carried along (as by a current of water, wind, or air) <
a balloon drifting in the wind
>
b. to move or float smoothly and effortlessly 2. a. to move along a line of least resistance b. to move in a random or casual way c. to become carried along subject to no guidance or control <
the talk drifted from topic to topic
>
3. a. to accumulate in a mass or become piled up in heaps by wind or water <
drifting snow
>
b. to become covered with a drift 4. to vary or deviate from a set course or adjustment transitive verb 1. a. to cause to be driven in a current b. West to drive (livestock) slowly especially to allow grazing 2. a. to pile in heaps b. to cover with drifts • driftingly adverb

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Drift — may mean: Contents 1 Film and literature 2 Geography 3 Industry …   Wikipedia

  • Drift — Drift, n. [From {drive}; akin to LG. & D. drift a driving, Icel. drift snowdrift, Dan. drift, impulse, drove, herd, pasture, common, G. trift pasturage, drove. See {Drive}.] 1. A driving; a violent movement. [1913 Webster] The dragon drew him… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • drift — [ drift ] n. m. • 1842; mot angl. ♦ Anglic. Géol. Dépôt laissé par le recul d un glacier. ● drift nom masculin (anglais drift, poussée) Transistor dans lequel la partie de la base en contact avec l émetteur est plus riche en électrons que le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • drift — drift·age; drift; drift·er; drift·ing·ly; drift·land; drift·less; drift·less·ness; drift·man; spin·drift; spoon·drift; …   English syllables

  • Drift — Drift, a. That causes drifting or that is drifted; movable by wind or currents; as, drift currents; drift ice; drift mud. Kane. [1913 Webster] {Drift anchor}. See {Sea anchor}, and also {Drag sail}, under {Drag}, n. {Drift epoch} (Geol.), the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Drift — („Treiben“) bezeichnet: in ländlichen Gebieten einen Weg für den Viehtrieb in der Messtechnik einen sich kontinuierlich verändernden Messfehler in der Nachrichtentechnik eine langsame Änderung im Signalweg, siehe Drift (Nachrichtentechnik) in der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Drift — Sf durch Wind erzeugte Strömung; unkontrolliertes Treiben per. Wortschatz fach. (14. Jh.) Entlehnung. Ursprünglich niederdeutsches Seemannswort aus einem ti Abstraktum zu treiben, also Entsprechung zu nhd. Trift. Neuere Bedeutungen hängen in der… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • drift — [drift] n. [ME (akin to ON & MDu drift, OHG trift) < OE drifan, DRIVE] 1. an act or instance of being driven or carried along, as by a current of air or water or by circumstances 2. the course on which something is directed or driven 3. the… …   English World dictionary

  • drift — drȉft m <N mn drìftovi> DEFINICIJA 1. pom. bočno zanošenje broda (zbog vjetra, morske struje itd.) 2. geogr. morska struja koja nastaje pod stalnim naletima vjetra 3. pren. predmeti (podrtine broda, ledeni bregovi itd.) koji plutaju morem… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Drift — (Байрон Бей,Австралия) Категория отеля …   Каталог отелей

  • Drift — Drift, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Drifted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Drifting}.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] We… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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