- The definition of a shift is a movement, a designated work period or a group of people who work during a designated work period.
- An example of a shift is when public sentiment changes from positive to negative.
- An example of a shift is the time period between 1 and 8 which is the work period for a given set of people to work.
- An example of a shift is the group of workers who work between 1 and 8.
- To shift is to move or change, or to cause something else to move or change.
- An example of to shift is to move your arm.
- An example of to shift is to shuffle papers on your desk.
- to move or transfer from one person, place, or position to another: to shift the blame
- to replace by another or others; change or exchange
- to change (gears) from one arrangement to another in driving a motor vehicle
- to change phonetically, as by Grimm's law
- Now Chiefly Dial. to change (clothes)
Origin of shiftMiddle English schiften ; from Old English sciftan, to divide, separate ; from Indo-European an unverified form skeib- from source ship
- to change position, direction, form, character, etc.
- to undergo phonetic change
- to get along; manage: to shift for oneself
- to use tricky, evasive, or expedient methods
- ☆ to change from one gear arrangement to another
- in typing, to change from small letters, etc. to capitals, etc. by depressing a key ()
- Now Chiefly Dial. to change one's clothing
- the act of shifting from one person, place, position, etc. to another; change; transfer; substitution
- a means or plan of conduct, esp. one followed in an emergency or difficulty; expedient; stratagem
- a deceitful scheme or method; evasion; trick
- ☆ gearshift
- a group of people working in relay with another or other groups: the night shift
- the regular work period of such a group
- a change in direction, as of the wind
- Now Rare a chemise, or woman's slip
- a loose dress that hangs straight with no waistline
- Now Chiefly Dial. a change of clothing
- ☆ Football a regrouping of offensive or defensive players before the ball is put in play
- Linguis. a phonetic change or series of changes that alters the system of sounds in a language
- Mining a fault or displacement, as in a vein
- Music a change in the position of the hand, as on the fingerboard of a violin
- Physics a change in the observed frequency of a wave, as of light or sound
verbshift·ed, shift·ing, shifts
- To exchange (one thing) for another of the same class: shifted assignments among the students.
- To move or transfer from one place or position to another.
- To alter (position or place).
- To change (gears), as in an automobile.
- Linguistics To alter phonetically as part of a systematic historical change.
- To change position, direction, place, or form.
- a. To provide for one's own needs; get along: “See me safe up: for my coming down, I can shift for myself” (Thomas More).b. To get along by tricky or evasive means.
- To change gears, as when driving an automobile.
- Linguistics To be altered as part of a systematic historical change. Used of speech sounds.
- To use a shift key.
- A change from one person or configuration to another; a substitution.
- a. A group of workers that relieve another on a regular schedule.b. The working period of such a group: worked the night shift.
- a. A means to an end; an expedient.b. A stratagem; a trick.
- A change in direction: a shift in the wind.
- A change in attitude, judgment, or emphasis.
- A change in position, as:a. Music A change of the hand position in playing the violin or a similar instrument.b. Football A rearrangement of players from one formation to another just prior to the snap of the ball.c. Baseball A rearrangement of one or more fielders for improved defense against a particular hitter.d. Geology See fault.e. Computers Movement of characters in a register to the left or right, as of the bits in a byte.
- The act or an instance of using a shift key.
- Physics A change in wavelength, causing a movement of a spectral band or line.
- Linguistics a. A systematic change of the phonetic or phonemic structure of a language.b. Functional shift.
- a. A loosely fitting dress that hangs straight from the shoulder; a chemise.b. A woman's undergarment; a slip or chemise.
Origin of shiftMiddle English shiften, from Old English sciftan, to arrange, divide.
(third-person singular simple present shifts, present participle shifting, simple past and past participle shifted)
- To change, swap.
- To move from one place to another; to redistribute.
- We'll have to shift these boxes to the downtown office.
- (intransitive) To change position.
- She shifted slightly in her seat.
- His political stance shifted daily.
- As it were to ride day and night; and [â€¦] not to have patience to shift me.
- (intransitive) To change gears (in a car).
- I crested the hill and shifted into fifth.
- (typewriters) To move the keys of a typewriter over in order to type capital letters and special characters.
- (computer keyboards) To switch to a character entry mode for capital letters and special characters.
- (computing) To manipulate a binary number by moving all of its digits left or right; compare rotate.
- Shifting 1001 to the left yields 10010; shifting it right yields 100.
- (computing) To remove the first value from an array.
- To dispose of.
- How can I shift a grass stain?
- (intransitive) To hurry.
- If you shift, you might make the 2:19.
- (Ireland, vulgar, slang) To engage in sexual petting.
- To resort to expedients for accomplishing a purpose; to contrive; to manage.
- To practice indirect or evasive methods.
- (historical) a type of women's undergarment, a slip
- Just last week she bought a new shift at the market.
- a change of workers, now specifically a set group of workers or period of working time
- We'll work three shifts a day till the job's done.
- an act of shifting; a slight movement or change
- There was a shift in the political atmosphere.
- 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, â€œWinning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwindsâ€, New York Times:
- The generational shift Mr. Obama once embodied is, in fact, well under way, but it will not change Washington as quickly â€” or as harmoniously â€” as a lot of voters once hoped.
- (US) the gear mechanism in a motor vehicle
- Does it come with a stick-shift?
- Alternative spelling of Shift (â€œthe modifier button of computer keyboardsâ€).
- If you press shift-P, the preview display will change.
- (computing) a bit shift
- (baseball) The infield shift.
- Teams often use the shift against this lefty.
- (Ireland, crude slang, often with the definite article, usually uncountable) The act of sexual petting.
- (archaic) A contrivance, device to try when other methods fail
- (archaic) a trick, an artifice
- In building, the extent, or arrangement, of the overlapping of plank, brick, stones, etc., that are placed in courses so as to break joints.
- (mining) A breaking off and dislocation of a seam; a fault.
From Middle English schiften, from Old English sciftan (â€œto divide, separate into shares; appoint, ordain; arrange, organiseâ€), from Proto-Germanic *skiftijanÄ…, *skiptijanÄ…, for earlier *skipatjanÄ… (â€œto organise, put in orderâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *skeyb- (â€œto separate, divide, partâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *skÄ“y- (â€œto cut, divide, separate, partâ€). Cognate with Scots schift, skift (â€œto shiftâ€), West Frisian skifte, skiftsje (â€œto sortâ€), Dutch schiften (â€œto sort, screen, winnow, partâ€), German schichten (â€œto stack, layerâ€), Swedish skifta (â€œto shift, change, exchange, varyâ€), Norwegian skifte (â€œto shiftâ€), Icelandic skipta (â€œto switchâ€).