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Definition of "drift" [drift]

  • To be carried along by currents of air or water: a balloon drifting eastward; as the wreckage drifted toward shore. (verb-intransitive)
  • To proceed or move unhurriedly and smoothly: drifting among the party guests. (verb-intransitive)
  • To move leisurely or sporadically from place to place, especially without purpose or regular employment: a day laborer, drifting from town to town. (verb-intransitive)
  • To wander from a set course or point of attention; stray. (verb-intransitive)
  • To vary from or oscillate randomly about a fixed setting, position, or mode of operation. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "drift" in a sentence
  • "A big part of the policy story is what we call "drift" - the deliberate failure to update policies to reflect changing economic realities despite viable and popular alternatives due to the pressure of those benefiting from such calculated inaction."
  • "The old and discredited neo-conservatives like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolton and Jeb Bush sought to link domestic controversies surrounding the Clinton administration to what they described as a drift in American foreign and defense policy."
  • "I have dived myself there in the Netherland Antilles, and we did what you call drift diving, where it carries you along, the water does, because there ` s a very heavy current."