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English Dictionary: drift by the DICT Development Group
7 results for drift
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
  1. a force that moves something along [syn: drift, 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. a large mass of material 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"
    Synonym(s): drift, trend, movement
  6. the pervading meaning or tenor; "caught the general drift of the conversation"
    Synonym(s): drift, purport
  7. a horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine; "they dug a drift parallel with the vein"
    Synonym(s): drift, heading, gallery
  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"
    Synonym(s): float, drift, 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"
    Synonym(s): stray, err, drift
  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"
    Synonym(s): roll, wander, swan, stray, tramp, roam, cast, ramble, rove, range, drift, 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"
    Synonym(s): freewheel, drift
  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"
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Adit \Ad"it\, n. [L. aditus, fr. adire, [?]aitum, to go to; ad +
      ire to go.]
      1. An entrance or passage. Specifically: The nearly
            horizontal opening by which a mine is entered, or by which
            water and ores are carried away; -- called also {drift}
            and {tunnel}.
      2. Admission; approach; access. [R.]
                     Yourself and yours shall have Free adit. --Tennyson.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Drift \Drift\, n.
      1. (Phys. Geog.) One of the slower movements of oceanic
            circulation; a general tendency of the water, subject to
            occasional or frequent diversion or reversal by the wind;
            as, the easterly drift of the North Pacific.
      2. (A[89]ronautics) The horizontal component of the pressure
            of the air on the sustaining surfaces of a flying machine.
            The lift is the corresponding vertical component, which
            sustains the machine in the air.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Drift \Drift\, n. [From {drive}; akin to LG. & D. drift a
      driving, Icel. drift snowdrift, Dan. drift, impulse, drove,
      herd, pasture, common, G. trift pasturage, drove. See
      1. A driving; a violent movement.
                     The dragon drew him [self] away with drift of his
                     wings.                                                --King
      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. [bd]Our drift was south.[b8] --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.
      5. That which is driven, forced, or urged along; as:
            (a) Anything driven at random. [bd]Some log . . . a
                  useless drift.[b8] --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.
                           We got the brig a good bed in the rushing drift
                           [of ice].                                    --Kane.
            (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). --
      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
      11. (Mining) A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft;
            a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or
      12. (Naut.)
            (a) The distance through which a current flows in a given
            (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
            (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.
      Note: Drift is used also either adjectively or as the first
               part of a compound. See {Drift}, a.
      {Drift of the forest} (O. Eng. Law), an examination or view
            of the cattle in a forest, in order to see whose they are,
            whether they are commonable, and to determine whether or
            not the forest is surcharged. --Burrill.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Drift \Drift\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Drifted}; p. pr. & vb. n.
      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.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Drift \Drift\, v. t.
      1. To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body. --J. H.
      2. To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or
      3. (Mach.) To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Drift \Drift\, a.
      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}, n.
      {Drift epoch} (Geol.), the glacial epoch.
      {Drift net}, a kind of fishing net.
      {Drift sail}. Same as {Drag sail}. See under {Drag}, n.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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