drift´ing|ly

drift´ing|ly
drift «drihft», verb, noun.
–v.t.
1. to carry along by currents of water or air: »

The current was drifting our boat onto the rocks.

2. to heap up; pile up: »

The wind is so strong it's drifting the snow.

3. to enlarge or shape (a hole) with a steel drift.
4. Mining. to excavate horizontally.
5. Western U.S. to drive (stock) slowly, letting them feed as they go: »

to drift cattle. They would drift the horses along with two outfits instead of four (John M. Hunter).

–v.i.
1. to be carried along by currents of water or air: »

A raft drifts if it is not steered. When he was a young man, Lincoln drifted down the Mississippi in a flatboat.

SYNONYM(S): float.
2. a) to pass without special intention: »

People drifted in and out of the meeting. Figurative. Decent and able men…drifted out of politics (H. G. Wells).

b) Figurative. to go along without knowing or caring where one is going: »

Some people have a purpose in life; others just drift.

c) to move or appear one at a time or in small groups as drift does on a beach: »

The students drifted into class.

3. to be heaped up by the wind: »

The snow drifted along the fence.

[< noun]
–n.
1. a drifting: »

the drift of an iceberg. As for Modern English, the drift of stress to the initial syllable is still a living issue (Simeon Potter).

2. the direction of drifting: »

The drift of this current is south.

3. Figurative. tendency or trend: »

Many politicians watch the drift of public opinion to see what to do next.

4. Figurative. the direction of thought; meaning: »

Please explain that again; I did not get the drift of your words.

SYNONYM(S): intent.
5. Geology. sand, gravel, rocks, or dirt moved from one place and left in another by a river, glacier, or the wind.
6. a) snow or sand heaped up by the wind: »

After the heavy snow there were deep drifts in the yard.

b) floating matter driven by currents of water, such as a log or a mass of wood: »

Near the breakwater is a drift of old boards.

7. a current of water or air caused by the wind.
8. a) the sideways movement of an aircraft or ship off its projected course due to cross-currents of air or water. b) the distance that an aircraft or ship is off course because of currents. It is usually expressed as an angle between the craft's heading and its actual path.
9. an almost horizontal passageway in a mine along a vein of ore, coal, or the like.
10. Linguistics. cumulative changes in a language in some special direction.
11. Economics. the tendency of earnings to rise somewhat faster than official wages: »

The average rise in wages had been 6 per cent, to which must be added 2 per cent or so for drift (London Times).

12. a round, tapering piece of steel for enlarging holes in metal or adjusting holes to receive rivets.
13. a tool used for ramming or driving piles or forcing other objects into something.
14. (in South Africa) a ford.
[Middle English drift, gerund, a driving < Old English drīfan to drive]
drift´ing|ly, adverb.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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