AskDefine | Define drift

Dictionary Definition

drift

Noun

1 a force that moves something along [syn: impetus, impulsion]
2 the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane)
3 a process of linguistic change over a period of time
4 something that is heaped up by the wind or by water currents
5 a general tendency to change (as of opinion); "not openly liberal but that is the trend of the book"; "a broad movement of the electorate to the right" [syn: trend, movement]
6 general meaning or tenor; "caught the drift of the conversation" [syn: purport]
7 a horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine; "they dug a drift parallel with the vein" [syn: heading, gallery]

Verb

1 be in motion due to some air or water current; "The leaves were blowing in the wind"; "the boat drifted on the lake"; "The sailboat was adrift on the open sea"; "the shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore" [syn: float, be adrift, blow]
2 wander from a direct course or at random; "The child strayed from the path and her parents lost sight of her"; "don't drift from the set course" [syn: stray, err]
3 move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment; "The gypsies roamed the woods"; "roving vagabonds"; "the wandering Jew"; "The cattle roam across the prairie"; "the laborers drift from one town to the next"; "They rolled from town to town" [syn: roll, wander, swan, stray, tramp, roam, cast, ramble, rove, range, vagabond]
4 vary or move from a fixed point or course; "stock prices are drifting higher"
5 live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely; "My son drifted around for years in California before going to law school" [syn: freewheel]
6 move in an unhurried fashion; "The unknown young man drifted among the invited guests"
7 cause to be carried by a current; "drift the boats downstream"
8 drive slowly and far afield for grazing; "drift the cattle herds westwards"
9 be subject to fluctuation; "The stock market drifted upward"
10 be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of wind or a current; "snow drifting several feet high"; "sand drifting like snow"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse.
  2. A place, also known as a ford, along a river where the water is shallow enough to permit oxen or sheep to be driven to the opposite side.
  3. Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.
  4. The tendency of an act, argument, course of conduct, or the like; object aimed at or intended; intention; hence, also, import or meaning of a sentence or discourse; aim.
  5. That which is driven, forced, or urged along
  6. Anything driven at random.
  7. A mass of matter which has been driven or forced onward together in a body, or thrown together in a heap, etc., esp. by wind or water; as, a drift of snow, of ice, of sand, and the like.
  8. A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds.
  9. The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments.
  10. 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 agency of ice.
  11. In South Africa, a ford in a river.
  12. A slightly tapered tool of steel for enlarging or shaping a hole in metal, by being forced or driven into or through it; a broach.
  13. A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework.
  14. A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles.
  15. A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel.
  16. The distance through which a current flows in a given time.
  17. The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting.
  18. The distance to which a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes.
  19. 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.
  20. The distance between the two blocks of a tackle.
  21. 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.
  22. A sideways movement of the ball through the air, when bowled by a spin bowler.
  23. driftwood included in flotsam washed up onto the beach.
  24. Drift (see Wikipedia). The material left behind by the retreat of continenal glaciers. It buries former river valleys and creates young river valleys. The Diftless Area, a geographical area of North America, was unglaciated for the past 510 million years. Mass noun.

Translations

The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse
A place, also known as a ford, along a river where the water is shallow enough to permit oxen or sheep to be driven to the opposite side
Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting
The tendency of an act, argument, course of conduct, or the like; object aimed at or intended; intention
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.
A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds
The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments
A collection of loose earth and rocks, or boulders, which have been distributed over large portions of the earth's surface
In South Africa, a ford in a river
A slightly tapered tool of steel for enlarging or shaping a hole in metal
A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework
A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles
A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel
The distance through which a current flows in a given time
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
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
A sideways movement of the ball through the air, when bowled by a spin bowler
Driftwood included in flotsam washed up onto the beach

Verb

  1. To move slowly, pushed by currents of water, air, etc
    The boat drifted away from the shore.
    The balloon was drifting in the breeze.
  2. To move haphazardly without any destination.
    He drifted from town to town, never settling down.
  3. To deviate gently from the intended direction of travel.
    This car tends to drift left at high speeds

Translations

To move slowly, pushed by currents of water, air, etc
To move haphazardly without any destination
To deviate gently from the intended direction of travel

Dutch

Noun

drift c
  1. passion
  2. strong and sudden upwelling of anger: a fit
  3. violent tendency
  4. flock (of sheep or oxen)
  5. deviation of direction caused by wind: drift
  6. path along which cattle are driven

Related terms

Swedish

Noun

drift
  1. urge, instinct
  2. operation, management (singular only)

Extensive Definition

Drift is a slow change and may refer specifically to:
In the literal sense of a change in position of a body:
  • Drifting (motorsport), which is a sport where drivers intentionally induce oversteer, to be judged on their technique.
  • Drift (railroad), which in railroading is the cutting off of power and using inertia alone to maintain forward movement.
  • The condition where a motor vehicle's rear wheels slip at a greater angle than the front wheels; see oversteer.
  • Intentional use of oversteer for faster cornering in low road surface traction conditions; see Opposite lock
  • Ice drift: drift of sea ice
  • Snow drift: a deposit of snow created by the wind
In science and technology:
In geography (In South Africa, drift is a synonym for ford):
In culture:
See also:
drift in Czech: Drift
drift in German: Drift
drift in Spanish: Deriva
drift in Korean: 드리프트
drift in Dutch: Drift
drift in Japanese: ドリフト

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Brownian movement, Zeitgeist, aberrancy, aberration, accumulation, advance, aeroplane, affective meaning, affluence, afflux, affluxion, aim, airlift, airplane, alluvion, alluvium, amble, angular motion, anthill, army, array, ascending, ascent, atmospherics, axial motion, azimuth, backflowing, backing, backward motion, balloon, bank, bank up, bat, bat around, batch, be a sideliner, be airborne, be still, bear off, bearing, bend, bent, bias, blaring, blasting, blind spot, branching off, bum, bunch, bundle, career, circuitousness, climbing, clump, cluster, clutch, coast, cock, colony, color, coloring, concourse, confluence, conflux, connotation, consequence, corner, count ties, course, crawling, creeping, crook, crosscurrent, cruise, current, curve, dance, dart, debris, declination, defluxion, delay, denotation, departure, deposit, descending, descent, detour, detritus, deviance, deviancy, deviation, deviousness, digression, diluvium, direction, direction line, discursion, disposition, divagate, divagation, divarication, divergence, diversion, do nothing, dogleg, double, downflow, downpour, downward motion, drift off course, driftage, drifting, drive, drove, dune, ebbing, effect, embankment, err, errantry, essence, excurse, excursion, excursus, exorbitation, extension, fade-out, fading, fall down, ferry, fetch away, flicker, flight, flit, flitter, float, flock, flood, flow, flowing, fluency, flutter, flux, fly, foot, force, forward motion, gad, gad about, gallivant, gam, gang, ghost, gist, glacial movement, glide, go about, go astray, go the rounds, grammatical meaning, group, gush, hairpin, hang fire, haycock, haymow, hayrick, haystack, heading, heap, heap up, helmsmanship, herd, hibernate, hill, hit the road, hit the trail, hobo, hop, host, hover, hydroplane, idea, idle, impact, implication, import, inclination, inclining, indirection, inflow, intension, intent, intention, interference, jaunt, jet, kennel, knock about, knock around, lay, leeway, lexical meaning, lie, lie dormant, line, line of direction, line of march, linger, literal meaning, litter, loess, lot, main current, mainstream, make leeway, mass, maunder, meander, meaning, mill run, millrace, molehill, mooch, mope, moraine, mosey, motion, mound, mountain, mounting, movement, mow, muck, navigate, navigation, noise, nomadize, not budge, not stir, object, oblique motion, obliquity, ongoing, onrush, onward course, orientation, outflow, overtone, pack, parcel, partiality, passage, pay off, penchant, peregrinate, pererrate, pererration, pertinence, pile, pile up, piloting, pith, plow the deep, plunging, pod, point, practical consequence, predilection, pride, progress, progression, propensity, prowl, purport, purpose, pyramid, quarter, race, radial motion, ramble, rambling, random motion, range, range of meaning, real meaning, reception, reference, referent, reflowing, refluence, reflux, regression, relation, relevance, rest, retrogression, rick, ride, ride the sea, rising, roam, rove, run, run about, rush, sag, sail, sailplane, saunter, school, scope, scree, scud, seaplane, sediment, semantic cluster, semantic field, sense, set, sheer, shift, shifting, shifting course, shifting path, shoal, shock, shoot, sideward motion, significance, signification, significatum, signifie, silt, sinking, sinter, sit back, sit it out, skew, skim, skulk, slant, slip, sloth, snake, snowdrift, soar, soaring, span of meaning, spate, spirit, stack, stack up, stagnate, static, steerage, steering, sternway, straggle, stray, straying, stream, stroll, structural meaning, subsiding, substance, sum, sum and substance, surge, sweep, swerve, swerving, swing, swinging, symbolic meaning, tack, take it easy, take the air, take wing, tendency, tenor, the general tendency, the main course, tide, time spirit, tone, totality of associations, track, traipse, traject, trajet, tramp, transferred meaning, trend, trip, troop, turn, turning, twist, twist and turn, unadorned meaning, undercurrent, undertone, undertow, upward motion, vagabond, vagabondize, value, variation, veer, vegetate, volplane, waft, wait and see, walk the tracks, walk the waters, wander, wandering, warp, wash, watch and wait, water flow, way, wayfare, wind, wing, yaw, yaw off, zigzag
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