Webster 1913 Edition
A driving; a violent movement.
The dragon drew him [self] away with
driftof his wings.
King Alisaunder (1332).
The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse.
A bad man, being under the
driftof any passion, will follow the impulse of it till something interpose.
Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.“Our drift was south.”
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
driftof the whole poem a compliment on his country in general.
Now thou knowest my
Sir W. Scott.
That which is driven, forced, or urged along; as:
Anything driven at random.“Some log . . . a useless drift.”
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;
driftof snow, of ice, of sand, and the like
Driftsof rising dust involve the sky.
A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds.
Cattle coming over the bridge (with their great
driftdoing much damage to the high ways).
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, especially in latitudes north of forty degrees, by the agency of ice.
In South Africa, a ford in a river.
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.
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, 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.
☞ Drift is used also either adjectively or as the first part of a compound. See
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To float or be driven along by, or as by, a current of water or air;
as, the ship
driftedastern; a raft
driftedashore; the balloon
driftedo'er the harbor bar.
To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps;
as, snow or sand.
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.
To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body.
J. H. Newman.
To drive into heaps;
as, a current of wind.
driftssnow or sand
To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift.
That causes drifting or that is drifted; movable by wind or currents;
Webster 1828 Edition
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.
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.