Shift - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |ʃɪft|  American pronunciation of the word shift
Brit.  |ʃɪft|  British pronunciation of the word shift


- an event in which something is displaced without rotation (syn: displacement)
- a qualitative change (syn: transformation, transmutation)
- the time period during which you are at work
- the act of changing one thing or position for another (syn: switch, switching)
- the act of moving from one place to another (syn: shifting)
his constant shifting disrupted the class
- (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other (syn: break, fault, fracture)
- a crew of workers who work for a specific period of time
- the key on the typewriter keyboard that shifts from lower-case letters to upper-case letters
- a woman's sleeveless undergarment (syn: chemise, shimmy, slip)
- a loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist (syn: chemise, sack)


- make a shift in or exchange of (syn: change over, switch)
- change place or direction (syn: dislodge, reposition)
- move around (syn: transfer)
- move very slightly (syn: agitate, budge, stir)
He shifted in his seat
- move from one setting or context to another
shift the emphasis
shift one's attention
- change in quality
His tone shifted
- move and exchange for another
shift the date for our class reunion
- move sideways or in an unsteady way (syn: careen, tilt, wobble)
- move abruptly (syn: lurch, pitch)
- use a shift key on a keyboard
She could not shift so all her letters are written in lower case
- change phonetically as part of a systematic historical change
Grimm showed how the consonants shifted
- change gears
you have to shift when you go down a steep hill
- lay aside, abandon, or leave for another (syn: change, switch)

Extra examples

I shifted the bag to my other shoulder.

She shifted her position slightly so she could see the stage better.

They shifted him to a different department.

He nervously shifted from foot to foot.

She shifted in her seat.

Public opinion has shifted dramatically in recent months.

Their efforts to shift public opinion have failed.

I wanted to shift the discussion back to the main point.

They tried to shift the blame onto us.

Their attempts at shifting attention away from the controversy seemed to be working.

There will be a shift of responsibility when she takes the new position.

The day shift worked overtime.

The restaurant needed only one shift for lunch.

He works the day shift.

You can shift for yourself.

Word forms

I/you/we/they: shift
he/she/it: shifts
present participle: shifting
past tense: shifted
past participle: shifted
singular: shift
plural: shifts
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