Definitions for: Shift


[n] the act of changing one thing or position for another; "his switch on abortion cost him the election"
[n] the act of moving from one place to another; "his constant shifting disrupted the class"
[n] a loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist
[n] a woman's sleeveless undergarment
[n] a qualitative change
[n] an event in which something is displaced without rotation
[n] a group of workers who work for a specific period of time
[n] (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other; "they built it right over a geological fault"
[n] the time period during which you are at work
[v] move from one setting or context to another; "shift the emphasis"; "shift one's attention"
[v] change in quality; "His tone shifted"
[v] make a shift in or exchange of; "First Joe led; then we switched"
[v] move and exchange for another; "shift the date for our class reunion"
[v] lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; "switch to a different brand of beer"; "She switched psychiatrists"; "The car changed lanes"
[v] move abruptly
[v] change place or direction; "Shift one's position"
[v] move sideways or in an unsteady way, as of a ship or a vehicle out of control
[v] move very slightly; "He shifted in his seat"
[v] move around; "transfer the packet from his trouser pockets to a pocket in his jacket"



Webster (1913) Definition: Shift, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shifted; p. pr. & vb. n.
Shifting.] [OE. shiften, schiften, to divide, change,
remove. AS. sciftan to divide; akin to LG. & D. schiften to
divide, distinguish, part Icel. skipta to divide, to part, to
shift, to change, Dan skifte, Sw. skifta, and probably to
Icel. sk[=i]fa to cut into slices, as n., a slice, and to E.
shive, sheave, n., shiver, n.]
1. To divide; to distribute; to apportion. [Obs.]

To which God of his bounty would shift Crowns two of
flowers well smelling. --Chaucer.

2. To change the place of; to move or remove from one place
to another; as, to shift a burden from one shoulder to
another; to shift the blame.

Hastily he schifte him[self]. --Piers
Plowman.

Pare saffron between the two St. Mary's days, Or set
or go shift it that knowest the ways. --Tusser.

3. To change the position of; to alter the bearings of; to
turn; as, to shift the helm or sails.

Carrying the oar loose, [they] shift it hither and
thither at pleasure. --Sir W.
Raleigh.

4. To exchange for another of the same class; to remove and
to put some similar thing in its place; to change; as, to
shift the clothes; to shift the scenes.

I would advise you to shift a shirt. --Shak.

5. To change the clothing of; -- used reflexively. [Obs.]

As it were to ride day and night; and . . . not to
have patience to shift me. --Shak.

6. To put off or out of the way by some expedient. ``I
shifted him away.'' --Shak.

To shift off, to delay; to defer; to put off; to lay aside.


To shift the scene, to change the locality or the
surroundings, as in a play or a story.

Shift the scene for half an hour; Time and place are
in thy power. --Swift.


Shift, n. [Cf. Icel skipti. See Shift, v. t.]
1. The act of shifting. Specifically:
(a) The act of putting one thing in the place of another,
or of changing the place of a thing; change;
substitution.

My going to Oxford was not merely for shift of
air. --Sir H.
Wotton.
(b) A turning from one thing to another; hence, an
expedient tried in difficalty; often, an evasion; a
trick; a fraud. ``Reduced to pitiable shifts.''
--Macaulay.

I 'll find a thousand shifts to get away.
--Shak.

Little souls on little shifts rely. --Dryden.

2. Something frequently shifted; especially, a woman's
under-garment; a chemise.

3. The change of one set of workmen for another; hence, a
spell, or turn, of work; also, a set of workmen who work
in turn with other sets; as, a night shift.

4. In building, the extent, or arrangement, of the
overlapping of plank, brick, stones, etc., that are placed
in courses so as to break joints.

5. (Mining) A breaking off and dislocation of a seam; a
fault.

6. (Mus.) A change of the position of the hand on the finger
board, in playing the violin.

To make shift, to contrive or manage in an exigency. ``I
shall make shift to go without him.'' --Shak.

[They] made a shift to keep their own in Ireland.
--Milton.

Synonyms: agitate, break, budge, careen, change over, chemise, dislodge, displacement, duty period, fault, fracture, geological fault, lurch, pitch, reposition, sack, shifting, shimmy, slip, stir, sway, switch, switch, switching, teddies, teddy, tilt, transfer, transformation, transmutation, wobble, work shift

See Also: advance, alter, alteration, amplitude, back, beat down, betterment, break, bunker, carry, carry forward, carry over, change, change, change, changeover, channel-surf, cleft, conversion, crack, crevice, cut, day shift, day shift, day watch, degeneration, Denali Fault, diphthongise, diphthongize, displace, dress, evening shift, evening shift, fault line, fissure, frock, go, graveyard shift, graveyard shift, hands, hours, improvement, inclined fault, jump, leap, luxation, manpower, men, modification, motion, move, move, movement, night shift, night shift, population shift, pyrolysis, remove, replace, retrogression, San Andreas Fault, scissure, sea change, shoulder strap, shuffle, shunt, spell, split shift, strap, strengthening, strike-slip fault, sublimation, substitute, surf, swing shift, switcheroo, tin disease, tin pest, tin plague, totter, tour, transfer, transition, translation, translocate, transplant, transpose, transpose, transship, trick, turn, undergarment, veer, watch, weakening, work force, workday, workforce, working day

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