Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “drift”

See all translations

drift

verb [I usually + adv/prep] uk   /drɪft/ us  
C2 to move slowly, especially as a result of outside forces, with no control over direction: No one noticed that the boat had begun to drift out to sea. A mist drifted in from the marshes. After the band stopped playing, people drifted away in twos and threes. figurative The talk drifted aimlessly from one subject to another.
More examples
Phrasal verbs

drift

noun uk   /drɪft/ us  

drift noun (MEANING)

[S] the general meaning without the details: The general drift of the article was that society doesn't value older people.catch/get sb's drift informal to understand the general meaning of what someone is sayingif you catch/get my drift informal used to say that you have left out information or your opinion from what you have just said, but that you expect the person listening still to understand it: She's married, but she doesn't act as if she is, if you get my drift.

drift noun (MOVEMENT)

[C] a pile of snow or something similar, formed by the wind: The snow lay in deep drifts. [S or U] a general development or change in a situation: The downward drift in copper prices looks like it will continue.
(Definition of drift from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of drift?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “drift” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

derivative

If something is derivative, it is not the result of new ideas, but has been developed from or copies something else.

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More