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Definition of Drift


  1. A driving; a violent movement.
  2. The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse.
  3. Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.
  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.
  5. That which is driven, forced, or urged along
  6. Anything driven at random.
  7. 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.
  8. A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds.
  9. The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments.
  10. 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.
  11. In South Africa, a ford in a river.
  12. 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.
  13. A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework.
  14. A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles.
  15. A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel.
  16. The distance through which a current flows in a given time.
  17. The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting.
  18. The distance to which a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes.
  19. 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.
  20. The distance between the two blocks of a tackle.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts.
  24. 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.
  25. To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body.
  26. To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.
  27. To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift.
  28. That causes drifting or that is drifted; movable by wind or currents; as, drift currents; drift ice; drift mud.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.

Drift Quotations

Teach love, generosity, good manners and some of that will drift from the classroom to the home and who knows, the children will be educating the parents.
Roger Moore

If I could eat whatever I wanted every day, I would have Domino's pizza with pasta carbonara inside every slice. And at night, I would have Neapolitan ice cream until I felt absolutely toxic. And then I would drift off telling myself, 'It's going to be O.K... It's going to be O.K. you're going to train in the morning.'
Robert Downey, Jr.

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

For some reason I have a visual intuition that allows me to design things in an interesting way, and I don't know where that came from. Because I don't have this formal training, I seem to drift in a different direction.
David Carson

To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
More "Drift" Quotations

Drift Translations

drift in Afrikaans is dryf
drift in Dutch is afdrijven, drijven, op drift zijn
drift in French is drosser
drift in German is langsames Abwandern, abweichen
drift in Italian is abortire
drift in Norwegian is drive
drift in Swedish is avdrift, vandra
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