I. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sciftan to divide, arrange; akin to Old Norse skipa to arrange, assign Date: 13th century transitive verb 1. to exchange for or replace by another ; change 2. a. to change the place, position, or direction of ; move b. to make a change in (place) 3. to change phonetically intransitive verb 1. a. to change place or position b. to change direction <
the wind shifted
c. to change gears d. to depress the shift key (as on a typewriter) 2. a. to assume responsibility <
had to shift for themselves
b. to resort to expedients 3. a. to go through a change <
she shifted in her approach
b. to change one's clothes c. to become changed phonetically • shiftable adjective II. noun Date: 1523 1. a. a means or device for effecting an end b. (1) a deceitful or underhand scheme ; dodge (2) an effort or expedient exerted or tried in difficult circumstances ; extremity <
was put to hard shifts for a living — Benjamin Franklin
2. a. chiefly dialect a change of clothes b. (1) chiefly dialect shirt (2) a woman's slip or chemise (3) a usually loose-fitting or semifitted dress 3. a. a change in direction <
a shift in the wind
b. a change in emphasis, judgment, or attitude 4. a. a group of people who work or occupy themselves in turn with other groups b. (1) a change of one group of people (as workers) for another in regular alternation (2) a scheduled period of work or duty <
works the night shift
5. a change in place or position: as a. a change in the position of the hand on a fingerboard (as of a violin) b. (1) fault 5 (2) the relative displacement of rock masses on opposite sides of a fault or fault zone c. (1) a simultaneous change of position in football by two or more players from one side of the line to the other (2) a change of positions made by one or more players in baseball to provide better defense against a particular hitter d. a change in frequency resulting in a change in position of a spectral line or band — compare Doppler effect e. a movement of bits in a computer register a specified number of places to the right or left 6. a removal from one person or thing to another ; transfer 7. consonant shift 8. a bid in bridge in a suit other than the suit one's partner has bid — compare jump 9. gearshift Synonyms: see resource

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Shift — (sh[i^]ft), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Shifted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shifting}.] [OE. shiften, schiften, to divide, change, remove. AS. sciftan to divide; akin to LG. & D. schiften to divide, distinguish, part Icel. skipta to divide, to part, to shift, to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Shift — Shift, n. [Cf. Icel. skipti. See {Shift}, v. t.] 1. The act of shifting. Specifically: (a) The act of putting one thing in the place of another, or of changing the place of a thing; change; substitution. [1913 Webster] My going to Oxford was not… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • shift — ► VERB 1) move or change from one position to another. 2) Brit. informal move quickly. 3) (shift oneself) Brit. informal move or rouse oneself. 4) Brit. remove (a stain). 5) informal sell (goods) quickly or in large quantities. 6) …   English terms dictionary

  • shift — [shift] vt. [ME schiften < OE sciftan, to divide, separate < IE * skeib > SHIP] 1. to move or transfer from one person, place, or position to another [to shift the blame] 2. to replace by another or others; change or exchange 3. to… …   English World dictionary

  • Shift — steht für: die Umschalttaste beziehungsweise Hochstelltaste auf Tastaturen Schiften beim Segeln in der Fotografie als Shift Effekt, um Bilder perspektivisch zu entzerren, und Tilt und Shift Objektive, mit denen diese Aufgabe schon bei der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Shift — 〈[ʃı̣ft] m. 6 oder n. 15〉 1. (plötzliche) Verschiebung, Verlagerung 2. 〈EDV〉 Umschalttaste auf der Computertastatur für die Schreibung in Großbuchstaben bzw. für die obere Belegung der Tastaturreihen 3. 〈Med.〉 plötzliche Veränderung eines Virus,… …   Universal-Lexikon

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