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Shift Definition


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Other Shift Definition

[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"

Misc. Definitions

\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.

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