- 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 (shift 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
- 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 [...] 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, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds", New York Times:
- The generational shift Mr. Obama once embodied is, in fact, well under way, but it will not change Washington as quickly "” or as harmoniously "” 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 (“the modifier button of computer keyboards").
- 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 (“to divide, separate into shares; appoint, ordain; arrange, organise"), from Proto-Germanic *skiftijanÄ…, *skiptijanÄ…, for earlier *skipatjanÄ… (“to organise, put in order"), from Proto-Indo-European *skeyb- (“to separate, divide, part"), from Proto-Indo-European *skÄ“y- (“to cut, divide, separate, part"). Cognate with Scots schift, skift (“to shift"), West Frisian skifte, skiftsje (“to sort"), Dutch schiften (“to sort, screen, winnow, part"), German schichten (“to stack, layer"), Swedish skifta (“to shift, change, exchange, vary"), Norwegian skifte (“to shift"), Icelandic skipta (“to switch").