Drift - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |drɪft|  American pronunciation of the word drift
Brit.  |drɪft|  British pronunciation of the word drift


- a force that moves something along (syn: impetus, impulsion)
- the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane)
- a process of linguistic change over a period of time
- a large mass of material that is heaped up by the wind or by water currents
- a general tendency to change (as of opinion) (syn: movement, trend)
- the pervading meaning or tenor(syn: purport)
- a horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine(syn: gallery, heading)


- be in motion due to some air or water current(syn: blow, float)
- wander from a direct course or at random(syn: err, stray)
- move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment(syn: cast, ramble, range, roam, roll, rove, stray, swan, tramp, vagabond, wander)
- vary or move from a fixed point or course
- live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely(syn: freewheel)
- move in an unhurried fashion
- cause to be carried by a current

▼ (3)


the slow drift of the clouds

As she got older, you could observe a drift in her writing towards more serious subjects.

the government's drift towards a centralization of power

The boat slowly drifted out to sea.

The clouds drifted across the sky.

The snow drifted against the side of the house.

Drifting snow covered most of the car.

The party guests drifted from room to room, eating and mingling.

Her eyes drifted across the crowd.

The conversation drifted from topic to topic.

My thoughts drifted back to the time when we first met.

After he left the army he just drifted for a few years.

She drifted from job to job.

Columns of smoke and ashes drifted to the south-east.

The snow had drifted our tracks.

Phrasal verbs

drift apart  — lose personal contact over time
drift off  — change from a waking to a sleeping state

Word forms

I/you/we/they: drift
he/she/it: drifts
present participle: drifting
past tense: drifted
past participle: drifted
singular: drift
plural: drifts
See also:  WebsterWiktionaryLongman