Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shift”

See all translations

shift

verb [I/T]  /ʃɪft/ us  

shift verb [I/T] (MOVE OR CHANGE)

to change direction or move from one person, position, or place to another: [I] The wind shifted to the east. [T] She shifted her weight from one foot to the other. [T] He tried to shift the blame onto his sister. If you shift your emphasis or attitude, you change it: [T] Our attention has shifted from baseball to the election. When you shift the gears of a vehicle, you move them into different positions to change the speed of the vehicle.

shift

noun [C]  /ʃɪft/ us  

shift noun [C] (PERIOD)

the period that a person is scheduled to work, or a group of workers who work during the same period of time: I’m working the day shift this month. The night shift is finished at 7 a.m.

shift noun [C] (MOVE OR CHANGE)

a change in position or direction: There’s been a substantial shift in doctorsmethods.
(Definition of shift from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shift?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shift” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More