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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (7)

1. a force that moves something along;
[syn: drift, impetus, impulsion]

2. the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane);

3. a process of linguistic change over a period of time;

4. a large mass of material that is heaped up by the wind or by water currents;

5. a general tendency to change (as of opinion);
- Example: "not openly liberal but that is the trend of the book"
- Example: "a broad movement of the electorate to the right"
[syn: drift, trend, movement]

6. the pervading meaning or tenor;
- Example: "caught the general drift of the conversation"
[syn: drift, purport]

7. a horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine;
- Example: "they dug a drift parallel with the vein"
[syn: drift, heading, gallery]


VERB (10)

1. be in motion due to some air or water current;
- Example: "The leaves were blowing in the wind"
- Example: "the boat drifted on the lake"
- Example: "The sailboat was adrift on the open sea"
- Example: "the shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore"
[syn: float, drift, be adrift, blow]

2. wander from a direct course or at random;
- Example: "The child strayed from the path and her parents lost sight of her"
- Example: "don't drift from the set course"
[syn: stray, err, drift]

3. move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment;
- Example: "The gypsies roamed the woods"
- Example: "roving vagabonds"
- Example: "the wandering Jew"
- Example: "The cattle roam across the prairie"
- Example: "the laborers drift from one town to the next"
- Example: "They rolled from town to town"
[syn: roll, wander, swan, stray, tramp, roam, cast, ramble, rove, range, drift, vagabond]

4. vary or move from a fixed point or course;
- Example: "stock prices are drifting higher"

5. live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely;
- Example: "My son drifted around for years in California before going to law school"
[syn: freewheel, drift]

6. move in an unhurried fashion;
- Example: "The unknown young man drifted among the invited guests"

7. cause to be carried by a current;
- Example: "drift the boats downstream"

8. drive slowly and far afield for grazing;
- Example: "drift the cattle herds westwards"

9. be subject to fluctuation;
- Example: "The stock market drifted upward"

10. be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of wind or a current;
- Example: "snow drifting several feet high"
- Example: "sand drifting like snow"


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

adit \ad"it\ ([a^]d"[i^]t), n. [L. aditus, fr. adire, aditum, to go to; ad + ire to go.] 1. An entrance or passage. Specifically: The nearly horizontal opening by which a mine is entered, or by which water and ores are carried away; -- called also drift and tunnel. [1913 Webster] 2. Admission; approach; access. [R.] [1913 Webster] Yourself and yours shall have Free adit. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Drift \Drift\, n. [From drive; akin to LG. & D. drift a driving, Icel. drift snowdrift, Dan. drift, impulse, drove, herd, pasture, common, G. trift pasturage, drove. See Drive.] 1. A driving; a violent movement. [1913 Webster] The dragon drew him [self] away with drift of his wings. --King Alisaunder (1332). [1913 Webster] 2. The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse. [1913 Webster] A bad man, being under the drift of any passion, will follow the impulse of it till something interpose. --South. [1913 Webster] 3. Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting. "Our drift was south." --Hakluyt. [1913 Webster] 4. The tendency of an act, argument, course of conduct, or the like; object aimed at or intended; intention; hence, also, import or meaning of a sentence or discourse; aim. [1913 Webster] He has made the drift of the whole poem a compliment on his country in general. -- Addison. [1913 Webster] Now thou knowest my drift. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] 5. That which is driven, forced, or urged along; as: (a) Anything driven at random. "Some log . . . a useless drift." --Dryden. (b) A mass of matter which has been driven or forced onward together in a body, or thrown together in a heap, etc., esp. by wind or water; as, a drift of snow, of ice, of sand, and the like. [1913 Webster] Drifts of rising dust involve the sky. -- Pope. [1913 Webster] We got the brig a good bed in the rushing drift [of ice]. --Kane. (c) A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Cattle coming over the bridge (with their great drift doing much damage to the high ways). -- Fuller. [1913 Webster] 6. (Arch.) The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments. [R.] --Knight. [1913 Webster] 7. (Geol.) A collection of loose earth and rocks, or boulders, which have been distributed over large portions of the earth's surface, especially in latitudes north of forty degrees, by the agency of ice. [1913 Webster] 8. In South Africa, a ford in a river. [1913 Webster] 9. (Mech.) A slightly tapered tool of steel for enlarging or shaping a hole in metal, by being forced or driven into or through it; a broach. [1913 Webster] 10. (Mil.) (a) A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework. (b) A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles. [1913 Webster] 11. (Mining) A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel. [1913 Webster] 12. (Naut.) (a) The distance through which a current flows in a given time. (b) The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting. (c) The distance to which a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes. (d) The place in a deep-waisted vessel where the sheer is raised and the rail is cut off, and usually terminated with a scroll, or driftpiece. (e) The distance between the two blocks of a tackle. [1913 Webster] 13. The difference between the size of a bolt and the hole into which it is driven, or between the circumference of a hoop and that of the mast on which it is to be driven. [1913 Webster] 14. (Phys. Geog.) One of the slower movements of oceanic circulation; a general tendency of the water, subject to occasional or frequent diversion or reversal by the wind; as, the easterly drift of the North Pacific. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 15. (A["e]ronautics) The horizontal component of the pressure of the air on the sustaining surfaces of a flying machine. The lift is the corresponding vertical component, which sustains the machine in the air. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] Note: Drift is used also either adjectively or as the first part of a compound. See Drift, a. [1913 Webster] Drift of the forest (O. Eng. Law), an examination or view of the cattle in a forest, in order to see whose they are, whether they are commonable, and to determine whether or not the forest is surcharged. --Burrill. [1913 Webster] continental drift (Geology), the very slow (ca. 1-5 cm per year) movement of the continents and parts of continents relative to each other and to the points of upwelling of magma in the viscous layers beneath the continents; -- causing, for example, the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean by the movement of Africa and South America away from each other. See also plate tectonics. [PJC]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Drift \Drift\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Drifted; p. pr. & vb. n. Drifting.] 1. To float or be driven along by, or as by, a current of water or air; as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore; the balloon drifts slowly east. [1913 Webster] We drifted o'er the harbor bar. -- Coleridge. [1913 Webster] 2. To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts. [1913 Webster] 3. (mining) to make a drift; to examine a vein or ledge for the purpose of ascertaining the presence of metals or ores; to follow a vein; to prospect. [U.S.] [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Drift \Drift\, v. t. 1. To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body. --J. H. Newman. [1913 Webster] 2. To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand. [1913 Webster] 3. (Mach.) To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Drift \Drift\, a. That causes drifting or that is drifted; movable by wind or currents; as, drift currents; drift ice; drift mud. --Kane. [1913 Webster] Drift anchor. See Sea anchor, and also Drag sail, under Drag, n. Drift epoch (Geol.), the glacial epoch. Drift net, a kind of fishing net. Drift sail. Same as Drag sail. See under Drag, n. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

drift n 1: a force that moves something along [syn: drift, impetus, impulsion] 2: the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane) 3: a process of linguistic change over a period of time 4: a large mass of material that is heaped up by the wind or by water currents 5: a general tendency to change (as of opinion); "not openly liberal but that is the trend of the book"; "a broad movement of the electorate to the right" [syn: drift, trend, movement] 6: the pervading meaning or tenor; "caught the general drift of the conversation" [syn: drift, purport] 7: a horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine; "they dug a drift parallel with the vein" [syn: drift, heading, gallery] v 1: be in motion due to some air or water current; "The leaves were blowing in the wind"; "the boat drifted on the lake"; "The sailboat was adrift on the open sea"; "the shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore" [syn: float, drift, be adrift, blow] 2: wander from a direct course or at random; "The child strayed from the path and her parents lost sight of her"; "don't drift from the set course" [syn: stray, err, drift] 3: move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment; "The gypsies roamed the woods"; "roving vagabonds"; "the wandering Jew"; "The cattle roam across the prairie"; "the laborers drift from one town to the next"; "They rolled from town to town" [syn: roll, wander, swan, stray, tramp, roam, cast, ramble, rove, range, drift, vagabond] 4: vary or move from a fixed point or course; "stock prices are drifting higher" 5: live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely; "My son drifted around for years in California before going to law school" [syn: freewheel, drift] 6: move in an unhurried fashion; "The unknown young man drifted among the invited guests" 7: cause to be carried by a current; "drift the boats downstream" 8: drive slowly and far afield for grazing; "drift the cattle herds westwards" 9: be subject to fluctuation; "The stock market drifted upward" 10: be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of wind or a current; "snow drifting several feet high"; "sand drifting like snow"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

430 Moby Thesaurus words for "drift": Brownian movement, Zeitgeist, aberrancy, aberration, accumulation, advance, aeroplane, affective meaning, affluence, afflux, affluxion, aim, airlift, airplane, alluvion, alluvium, amble, angular motion, anthill, army, array, ascending, ascent, atmospherics, axial motion, azimuth, backflowing, backing, backward motion, balloon, bank, bank up, bat, bat around, batch, be a sideliner, be airborne, be still, bear off, bearing, bend, bent, bias, blaring, blasting, blind spot, branching off, bum, bunch, bundle, career, circuitousness, climbing, clump, cluster, clutch, coast, cock, colony, color, coloring, concourse, confluence, conflux, connotation, consequence, corner, count ties, course, crawling, creeping, crook, crosscurrent, cruise, current, curve, dance, dart, debris, declination, defluxion, delay, denotation, departure, deposit, descending, descent, detour, detritus, deviance, deviancy, deviation, deviousness, digression, diluvium, direction, direction line, discursion, disposition, divagate, divagation, divarication, divergence, diversion, do nothing, dogleg, double, downflow, downpour, downward motion, drift off course, driftage, drifting, drive, drove, dune, ebbing, effect, embankment, err, errantry, essence, excurse, excursion, excursus, exorbitation, extension, fade-out, fading, fall down, ferry, fetch away, flicker, flight, flit, flitter, float, flock, flood, flow, flowing, fluency, flutter, flux, fly, foot, force, forward motion, gad, gad about, gallivant, gam, gang, ghost, gist, glacial movement, glide, go about, go astray, go the rounds, grammatical meaning, group, gush, hairpin, hang fire, haycock, haymow, hayrick, haystack, heading, heap, heap up, helmsmanship, herd, hibernate, hill, hit the road, hit the trail, hobo, hop, host, hover, hydroplane, idea, idle, impact, implication, import, inclination, inclining, indirection, inflow, intension, intent, intention, interference, jaunt, jet, kennel, knock about, knock around, lay, leeway, lexical meaning, lie, lie dormant, line, line of direction, line of march, linger, literal meaning, litter, loess, lot, main current, mainstream, make leeway, mass, maunder, meander, meaning, mill run, millrace, molehill, mooch, mope, moraine, mosey, motion, mound, mountain, mounting, movement, mow, muck, navigate, navigation, noise, nomadize, not budge, not stir, object, oblique motion, obliquity, ongoing, onrush, onward course, orientation, outflow, overtone, pack, parcel, partiality, passage, pay off, penchant, peregrinate, pererrate, pererration, pertinence, pile, pile up, piloting, pith, plow the deep, plunging, pod, point, practical consequence, predilection, pride, progress, progression, propensity, prowl, purport, purpose, pyramid, quarter, race, radial motion, ramble, rambling, random motion, range, range of meaning, real meaning, reception, reference, referent, reflowing, refluence, reflux, regression, relation, relevance, rest, retrogression, rick, ride, ride the sea, rising, roam, rove, run, run about, rush, sag, sail, sailplane, saunter, school, scope, scree, scud, seaplane, sediment, semantic cluster, semantic field, sense, set, sheer, shift, shifting, shifting course, shifting path, shoal, shock, shoot, sideward motion, significance, signification, significatum, signifie, silt, sinking, sinter, sit back, sit it out, skew, skim, skulk, slant, slip, sloth, snake, snowdrift, soar, soaring, span of meaning, spate, spirit, stack, stack up, stagnate, static, steerage, steering, sternway, straggle, stray, straying, stream, stroll, structural meaning, subsiding, substance, sum, sum and substance, surge, sweep, swerve, swerving, swing, swinging, symbolic meaning, tack, take it easy, take the air, take wing, tendency, tenor, the general tendency, the main course, tide, time spirit, tone, totality of associations, track, traipse, traject, trajet, tramp, transferred meaning, trend, trip, troop, turn, turning, twist, twist and turn, unadorned meaning, undercurrent, undertone, undertow, upward motion, vagabond, vagabondize, value, variation, veer, vegetate, volplane, waft, wait and see, walk the tracks, walk the waters, wander, wandering, warp, wash, watch and wait, water flow, way, wayfare, wind, wing, yaw, yaw off, zigzag