drift Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “drift” in the English Dictionary

"drift" in British English

See all translations

driftverb [I usually + adv/prep]

uk   /drɪft/ us   /drɪft/
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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

Phrasal verbs

driftnoun

uk   /drɪft/ us   /drɪft/
(Definition of drift from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"drift" in American English

See all translations

driftverb [I]

us   /drɪft/
  • drift verb [I] (MOVE)

to move slowly, esp. as a result of outside forces, with no control over direction: He stopped rowing and let the boat drift.
Someone or something that drifts changes in a gradual way that seems to be controlled by outside forces: I finally drifted off to sleep.

driftnoun

us   /drɪft/
  • drift noun (MEANING)

[U] the general meaning or message of something said or written: After a minute I caught his drift and grinned back.
  • drift noun (MOVE)

[C] a gradual change that seems to be controlled by outside forces: Many people experience a drift toward more conservative politics as they get older.
[C] A drift is also a pile of something that is made larger by the force of the wind: The state police closed the highway because of deep snow drifts.
(Definition of drift from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"drift" in Business English

See all translations

driftverb [I]

uk   /drɪft/ us  
FINANCE to slowly go up or down in value with no particular control over direction: drift lower/down/downwards The airline's shares drifted down 15 cents at $5.80. drift higher/up

driftnoun [S or U]

uk   /drɪft/ us  
FINANCE a slow change in value, with no particular control over direction: an upward/downward drift in sth The downward drift in copper prices looks set to continue.
a slow development or change from one situation to another: drift away from sth The company is not seeing evidence of any drift away from its premium brands.drift to/toward sth There has been general unease about the drift toward a culture of selling, marketing, and consumerism.
a slow movement from one place to another: a drift from sth to sth The population drift from the cities to the suburbs adds significantly to car use.
See also
(Definition of drift from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of drift?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“drift” in British English

“drift” in American English

“drift” in Business English

Watching the detectorists
Watching the detectorists
by ,
May 31, 2016
by Colin McIntosh You could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned hobbies that don’t involve computers have fallen out of favour. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the internet has made it easier for people with specialist hobbies from different corners of the world to come together to support one another

Read More 

Word of the Day

biodegrade

to decay naturally and in a way that is not harmful

Word of the Day

decision fatigue noun
decision fatigue noun
May 30, 2016
a decreased ability to make decisions as a result of having too many decisions to make Our brains have a finite number of decisions they can make before they get depleted and become less discerning – so this is called decision fatigue.

Read More