Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Drift

Drift

,
Noun.
[From
drive
; akin to LG. & D.
drift
a driving, Icel.
drift
snowdrift, Dan.
drift
, impulse, drove, herd, pasture, common, G.
trift
pasturage, drove. See
Drive
.]
1.
A driving; a violent movement.
The dragon drew him [self] away with
drift
of his wings.
King Alisaunder (1332).
2.
The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse.
A bad man, being under the
drift
of any passion, will follow the impulse of it till something interpose.
South.
3.
Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.
“Our drift was south.”
Hakluyt.
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.
He has made the
drift
of the whole poem a compliment on his country in general.
Addison.
Now thou knowest my
drift
.
Sir W. Scott.
5.
That which is driven, forced, or urged along
; as:
(a)
Anything driven at random.
“Some log . . . a useless drift.”
Dryden.
(b)
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
.
Drifts
of rising dust involve the sky.
Pope.
(c)
A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds.
[Obs.]
Cattle coming over the bridge (with their great
drift
doing much damage to the high ways).
Fuller.
6.
(Arch.)
The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments.
[R.]
Knight.
7.
(Geol.)
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.
8.
In South Africa, a ford in a river.
9.
(Mech.)
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.
10.
(Mil.)
(a)
A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework.
(b)
A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles.
11.
(Mining)
A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel.
12.
(Naut.)
(a)
The distance through which a current flows in a given time.
(b)
The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting.
(c)
The distance to which a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes.
(d)
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.
(e)
The distance between the two blocks of a tackle.
13.
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.
Drift is used also either adjectively or as the first part of a compound. See
Drift
,
Adj.

Drift

,
Verb.
I.
[
imp. & p. p.
Drifted
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Drifting
.]
1.
To float or be driven along by, or as by, a current of water or air;
as, the ship
drifted
astern; a raft
drifted
ashore; the balloon
drifts
slowly east.
We
drifted
o'er the harbor bar.
Coleridge.
2.
To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps;
as, snow or sand
drifts
.
3.
(mining)
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.
[U.S.]

Drift

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body.
J. H. Newman.
2.
To drive into heaps;
as, a current of wind
drifts
snow or sand
.
3.
(Mach.)
To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift.

Drift

,
Adj.
That causes drifting or that is drifted; movable by wind or currents;
as,
drift
currents;
drift
ice;
drift
mud.
Kane.
Drift anchor
.
See
Sea anchor
, and also
Drag sail
, under
Drag
,
Noun.
Drift epoch
(Geol.)
,
the glacial epoch.
Drift net
,
a kind of fishing net.
Drift sail
.
Same as
Drag sail
. See under
Drag
,
Noun.

Webster 1828 Edition


Drift

DRIFT

,
Noun.
1.
That which is driven by wind or water, as drift seems to be primarily a participle. Hence,
2.
A heap of any matter driven together; as a drift of snow, called also a snow-drift; a drift of sand.
3.
A driving; a force impelling or urging forward; impulse; overbearing power or influence; as the drift of a passion.
4.
Course of any thing; tendency; aim; main force; as the drift of reasoning or argument; the drift of a discourse.
5.
Any thing driven by force, as a drift of dust; a log or a raft driven by a stream of water, without guidance.
6.
A shower; a number of things driven at once; as a drift of bullets.
7.
In mining, a passage cut between shaft and shaft; a passage within the earth.
8.
In navigation, the angle which the line of a ships motion makes with the nearest meridian, when she drives with her side to the wind and waves, and is not governed by the helm. Also, the distance which the ship drives on that line.
9.
The drift of a current, is its angle and velocity.

DRIFT

, v.i.
1.
To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts.
2.
To float or be driven along by a current of water; as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore.

DRIFT

,
Verb.
T.
To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.

Definition 2022


Drift

Drift

See also: drift

German

Noun

Drift f (genitive Drift, no plural)

  1. drifting (being moved by external powers; most often of a ship)
  2. violent stream or swell (of the sea)

Derived terms

drift

drift

See also: Drift

English

Noun

drift (plural drifts)

  1. (physical) Movement; that which moves or is moved.
    1. (obsolete) A driving; a violent movement.
      • 1332, King Alisaunder (1332)
        The dragon drew him [self] away with drift of his wings.
    2. Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.
    3. That which is driven, forced, or urged along.
      • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, in The Lonely Pyramid:
        The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. [] Drifts of yellow vapour, fiery, parching, stinging, filled the air.
    4. Anything driven at random.
      • John Dryden (1631-1700)
        Some log [] a useless drift.
    5. 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.
      a drift of snow, of ice, of sand, etc.
      • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
        Drifts of rising dust involve the sky.
      • Kane
        We got the brig a good bed in the rushing drift [of ice].
    6. The distance through which a current flows in a given time.
    7. A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds.
      • Thomas Fuller (1606-1661)
        cattle coming over the bridge (with their great drift doing much damage to the high ways)
    8. 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.
      • 1867, E. Andrews, "Observations on the Glacial Drift beneath the bed of Lake Michigan," American Journal of Science and Arts, vol. 43, nos. 127-129, page 75:
        It is there seen that at a distance from the valleys of streams, the old glacial drift usually comes to the surface, and often rises into considerable eminences.
    9. Driftwood included in flotsam washed up onto the beach.
  2. The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse.
    • Robert South (1634–1716)
      A bad man, being under the drift of any passion, will follow the impulse of it till something interpose.
  3. A place (a ford) along a river where the water is shallow enough to permit crossing to the opposite side.
  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.
    • 1977, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Penguin Classics, p. 316:
      'Besides, you lack the brains to catch my drift. / If I explained you wouldn't understand.'
    • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
      He has made the drift of the whole poem a compliment on his country in general.
    • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
      Now thou knowest my drift.
  5. (architecture) The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  6. (handiwork) A tool.
    1. 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.
    2. A tool used to pack down the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework.
  7. A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles.
  8. (mining) A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel.
  9. (nautical) Movement.
    1. The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting.
    2. The distance a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes.
    3. 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.
    4. The distance between the two blocks of a tackle.
    5. 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.
  10. (cricket) A sideways movement of the ball through the air, when bowled by a spin bowler.

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

drift (third-person singular simple present drifts, present participle drifting, simple past and past participle drifted)

  1. (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.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 11, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      One day I was out in the barn and he drifted in. I was currying the horse and he set down on the wheelbarrow and begun to ask questions.
  2. (intransitive) To move haphazardly without any destination.
    He drifted from town to town, never settling down.
  3. (intransitive) To deviate gently from the intended direction of travel.
    This car tends to drift left at high speeds.
    • 2011 January 15, Saj Chowdhury, Man City 4-3 Wolves”, in BBC:
      Midway through the half, Argentine Tevez did begin to drift inside in order to exert his influence but by this stage Mick McCarthy's side had gone 1-0 up and looked comfortable.
  4. (transitive) To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of J. H. Newman to this entry?)
  5. (transitive) To drive into heaps.
    A current of wind drifts snow or sand
  6. (intransitive) To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps.
    Snow or sand drifts.
  7. (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.
  8. (transitive, engineering) To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift.
  9. To oversteer a vehicle, causing loss of traction, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. See Drifting (motorsport).

Derived terms

Translations


Dutch

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -ɪft

Etymology

From Middle Dutch drift, also dricht, from Old Dutch *drift, from Proto-Germanic *driftiz.

Noun

drift f (plural driften)

  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

Derived terms


Icelandic

Noun

drift f (genitive singular driftar, nominative plural driftir)

  1. snowdrift

Declension

Synonyms


Norwegian Bokmål

Etymology

From Old Norse drift

Noun

drift f, m (definite singular drifta or driften, indefinite plural drifter, definite plural driftene)

  1. operation (av / of)

Derived terms

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology

From Old Norse drift

Noun

drift f (definite singular drifta, indefinite plural drifter, definite plural driftene)

  1. operation (av / of)

Derived terms

References


Swedish

Etymology

From Old Norse dript, from Proto-Germanic *driftiz.

Noun

drift c

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

Declension

Inflection of drift 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative drift driften drifter drifterna
Genitive drifts driftens drifters drifternas