Dictionary.net

Definitions of shift

  1. move very slightly; " He shifted in his seat"
  2. ( geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other; " they built it right over a geological fault"
  3. move sideways or in an unsteady way, as of a ship or a vehicle out of control
  4. make a shift in or exchange of; " First Joe led; then we switched"
  5. a loose- fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist
  6. change place or direction; " Shift one's position"
  7. an event in which something is displaced without rotation
  8. the time period during which you are at work
  9. move around; " transfer the packet from his trouser pockets to a pocket in his jacket"
  10. the act of changing one thing or position for another; " his switch on abortion cost him the election"
  11. the act of moving from one place to another; " his constant shifting disrupted the class"
  12. a qualitative change
  13. a group of workers who work for a specific period of time
  14. change in quality; " His tone shifted"
  15. move and exchange for another; " shift the date for our class reunion"
  16. lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; " switch to a different brand of beer"; " She switched psychiatrists"; " The car changed lanes"
  17. change gears; " you have to shift when you go down a steep hill"
  18. move from one setting or context to another; " shift the emphasis"; " shift one's attention"
  19. change phonetically as part of a systematic historical change; " Grimm showed how the consonants shifted"
  20. use a shift key on a keyboard; " She could not shift so all ther letters are written in lower case"
  21. To divide; to distribute; to apportion.
  22. To change the place of; to move or remove from one place to another; as, to shift a burden from one shoulder to another; to shift the blame.
  23. To change the position of; to alter the bearings of; to turn; as, to shift the helm or sails.
  24. To exchange for another of the same class; to remove and to put some similar thing in its place; to change; as, to shift the clothes; to shift the scenes.
  25. To put off or out of the way by some expedient.
  26. The act of shifting.
  27. The act of putting one thing in the place of another, or of changing the place of a thing; change; substitution.
  28. Something frequently shifted; especially, a woman's under- garment; a chemise.
  29. The change of one set of workmen for another; hence, a spell, or turn, of work; also, a set of workmen who work in turn with other sets; as, a night shift.
  30. In building, the extent, or arrangement, of the overlapping of plank, brick, stones, etc., that are placed in courses so as to break joints.
  31. A breaking off and dislocation of a seam; a fault.
  32. A change of the position of the hand on the finger board, in playing the violin.
  33. To change the clothing of; - used reflexively.
  34. A turning from one thing to another; change; substitution; an expedient; as, to make one's way by shifts; a trick; the change of one set of workmen for another; turn of work; group of workers which takes turns with another group; a woman's chemise.
  35. To change the place of; transfer; to move or remove.
  36. To change position; to contrive; to practice evasions.
  37. Shifter.
  38. Shiftiness.
  39. To change: to put out of the way: to dress in fresh clothes.
  40. To change about: to remove: to change one's clothes: to resort to expedients for some purpose.
  41. A change: a contrivance: an artifice: last resource: a chemise ( orig. sig. a change of linen).
  42. To change about; remove; resort to expedients.
  43. To change; transfer.
  44. To change; try expedients; manage; evade.
  45. A substitute; expedient; trick; evasion.
  46. An undergarment.
  47. A relay of workmen; also, the working time of each gang.
  48. Shiftily.
  49. A change; a turning from one thing to another; an expedient tried in difficulty; a last resource; fraud; artifice; a chemise.
  50. To change; to alter; to change clothes. To shift about, to turn quite round. To shift off, to defer; to put away.
  51. To move; to change place or direction; to give place to other things; to change clothes; to resort to expedients; to practise indirect methods; to change position or quarters.
  52. An expedient; something tried when another fails; last resource; artifice; an evasion; a woman's under garment; the period during which the labourer works at a single stretch, hence the change of workmen at the expiration of the proper time.
  53. To alter; to change; to change clothes; to transfer from one to another; to remove; to resort to expedients for a livelihood, or to accomplish a purpose.
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Usage examples for shift

  1. " Rotten shift, life is," now murmured the Honourable George quite as if he had forgotten me. – Ruggles of Red Gap by Harry Leon Wilson
  2. It was just at the change of shift in the office. – Edison, His Life and Inventions by Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin
  3. But the difficulties of the Christian life only shift their place when faith by whatever means has been won. – Robert Browning by Edward Dowden
  4. The negroes, of course, had to shift for themselves, and hard shifting it was- the women and children herding in the towns and the men working as teamsters and doing what they could. – The Underdog by F. Hopkinson Smith
  5. How can I shift without the boy? – Master Skylark by John Bennett
  6. Enoch did not shift his thoughtful gaze from the sweet face opposite his for a long moment after she had ceased to speak. – The Enchanted Canyon by Honoré Willsie Morrow
  7. Then snow began to shift on the ledge. – Accidental Death by Peter Baily
  8. But they put me to work on the graveyard shift so I quit and come back to town." – Shadow Mountain by Dane Coolidge
  9. So far, we have found you in grub, but we're not bound to do so, and if you leave us, you must shift for yourself. – Blake's Burden by Harold Bindloss
  10. What's the necessity for a day and night shift? – The Cross-Cut by Courtney Ryley Cooper
  11. I know you too well to throw away my advantage; wherefore, shift as ye may." – Stories from Le Morte D'Arthur and the Mabinogion by Beatrice Clay
  12. If you could shift a little of the earth off, may be it would ease me! – His Big Opportunity by Amy Le Feuvre
  13. After dinner I went in one of the boats with my boy before my Lord, and made shift before night to get my cabin in pretty good order. – Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete Transcribed From The Shorthand Manuscript In The Pepysian Library Magdalene College Cambridge By The Rev. Mynors Bright by Samuel Pepys Commentator: Lord Braybrooke
  14. As soon as the chums had made a shift from their working clothes to the uniform of the day, and had stepped outside, they saw Mr. Henley coming their way, looking wholly proud and happy. – Dave Darrin's First Year at Annapolis by H. Irving Hancock
  15. We must shift the scene to the torture chamber. – The Rival Heirs being the Third and Last Chronicle of Aescendune by A. D. Crake
  16. I may need these men to work on a day and night shift, I 'm not sure. – The Cross-Cut by Courtney Ryley Cooper
  17. We shift all at once, many times a Day, from Hot to Cold, and from Cold to Hot, in a more remarkable Manner, and more suddenly, than in most other Countries. – Advice to the people in general, with regard to their health by Samuel Auguste David Tissot
  18. The final reason I urge this historic shift is much more personal, for each and for every one of us. – Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present by Various
  19. I seen women goin' a drinkin' widout a shift to their backs. – Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk during the Cotton Famine by Edwin Waugh
  20. It is an awkward shift for avoiding the repetition of a word, which might be accomplished without it by any person who has the least command of language. – The Grammar of English Grammars by Goold Brown
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