- The definition of a drift is a driving force or pressure, the ocean's movement due to winds and currents or a broad and shallow current that moves forward 10 to 15 miles per day.
- An example of drift is the encouragement to keep moving through a difficulty.
- An example or drift is a strong ocean current making it dangerous to swim.
- An example of drift is a current moving 15 miles forward each day.
- Drift is defined as to be carried by currents or to wander aimlessly.
- An example of drift is for a piece of wood to be dragged out to sea by the currents.
- An example of drift is to constantly wander from village to village.
- a being driven or carried along, as by a current of air or water or by circumstances
- the course on which something is directed or driven
- the deviation of a ship, airplane, rocket, etc. from its path, caused by side currents or winds
- the velocity of a current of water
- a slow ocean current
- a gradual shifting in position
- a random course, variation, or deviation
- a gradual movement or change in some direction or toward some end or purpose; trend; tendency
- general meaning of what is said or done; intent; tenor
- something driven, as
- rain, snow, or smoke driven before the wind
- floating matter driven by water currents
- a heap of snow, sand, etc. piled up by the wind
- floating matter washed ashore
- Electronics a deviation or variation of a quantity, as voltage, from its assigned value
- Geol. sand, gravel, boulders, etc. moved and deposited by a glacier or by water arising from its melting ice
- Linguis. a gradual change along a certain line of development in the various elements of a language
- a tool used for ramming or driving down a heavy object
- a tool for enlarging or shaping holes
- a horizontal passageway driven into or along the path of a vein or rock layer
- a small tunnel connecting two larger shafts
Origin of driftMiddle English (akin to Old Norse and Middle Dutch drift, Old High German trift) from Old English drifan, drive
- to be carried along by or as by a current
- to be carried along by circumstances; go along aimlessly
- to wander about from place to place, from job to job, etc.
- to accumulate in heaps by force of wind or water
- to become heaped with drifting snow, sand, etc.
- to move easily or gradually away from a set position
- West to range far afield in a drove, as in seeking pasture or escaping a storm: said of cattle
- to cause to drift
- to cover with drifts
verbdrift·ed, drift·ing, drifts
- To be carried along by currents of air or water: a balloon drifting eastward; as the wreckage drifted toward shore.
- To proceed or move unhurriedly or aimlessly: drifting among the party guests; a day laborer, drifting from town to town.
- To live or behave without a clear purpose or goal: drifted through his college years unable to decide on a career.
- To have no continuing focus; stray: My attention drifted during the boring presentation.
- To vary from or oscillate randomly about a fixed setting, position, or mode of operation.
- To be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of a current: snow drifting to five feet.
- To cause to be carried in a current: drifting the logs downstream.
- To pile up in banks or heaps: Wind drifted the loose straw against the barn.
- Western US To drive (livestock) slowly or far afield, especially for grazing.
- Something moving along in a current of air or water: a drift of logs in the river.
- A bank or pile, as of sand or snow, heaped up by currents of air or water.
- Geology Rock debris transported and deposited by or from ice, especially by or from a glacier.
- a. A general trend or tendency, as of opinion. See Synonyms at tendency.b. General meaning or purport; tenor: caught the drift of the conversation.
- a. A gradual change in position: an iceberg's eastward drift.b. A gradual deviation from an original course, model, method, or intention.c. Variation or random oscillation about a fixed setting, position, or mode of behavior.
- A gradual change in the output of a circuit or amplifier.
- The rate of flow of a water current.
- a. A tool for ramming or driving something down.b. A tapered steel pin for enlarging and aligning holes.
- a. A horizontal or nearly horizontal passageway in a mine running through or parallel to a vein.b. A secondary mine passageway between two main shafts or tunnels.
- A drove or herd, especially of swine.
Origin of driftFrom Middle English drove, herd, act of driving ; see dhreibh- in Indo-European roots.
- Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.
- That which is driven, forced, or urged along.
- Anything driven at random.
- 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.
- The distance through which a current flows in a given time.
- A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds.
- 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 retreat of continental glaciers, such as that which buries former river valleys and creates young river valleys.
- Driftwood included in flotsam washed up onto the beach.
- The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting.
- The distance to which a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes.
- 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.
- The distance between the two blocks of a tackle.
- 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.
(third-person singular simple present drifts, present participle drifting, simple past and past participle drifted)
- (intransitive) To move slowly, especially pushed by currents of water, air, etc.
- The boat drifted away from the shore.
- The balloon was drifting in the breeze.
- (intransitive) To move haphazardly without any destination.
- He drifted from town to town, never settling down.
- (intransitive) To deviate gently from the intended direction of travel.
- This car tends to drift left at high speeds.
- To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body.
- To drive into heaps.
- A current of wind drifts snow or sand
- (intransitive) To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps.
- Snow or sand drifts.
- (mining, US) To make a drift; to examine a vein or ledge for the purpose of ascertaining the presence of metals or ores; to follow a vein; to prospect.
- (engineering) To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift.
- To oversteer a vehicle, causing loss of traction, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. See Drifting (motorsport).
From Middle English drift, dryft (“act of driving, drove, shower of rain or snow, impulse”), from Old English *drift (“drift”), from Proto-Germanic *driftiz (“drift”), from Proto-Indo-European *dhreibh- (“to drive, push”). Cognate with North Frisian drift (“drift”), Dutch drift (“drift, passion, urge”), German Drift (“drift”) and Trift (“drove, pasture”), Swedish drift (“impulse, instinct”), Icelandic drift (“drift, snow-drift”). Related to drive.
drift - Computer Definition
Change in frequency or time synchronization of a signal that occurs slowly.