American English

Definition of drift noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    slow movement
  1. 1[singular, uncountable] a slow steady movement from one place to another; a gradual change or development from one situation to another, especially to something bad a population drift away from rural areas attempts to halt the drift toward war
  2. of ship
  3. 2[uncountable] the movement of a ship or plane away from its direction because of currents or wind Remember to allow for drift.
  4. of ocean/air
  5. 3[uncountable, countable] the movement of the ocean or air synonym current the general direction of drift on the east coast He knew the hidden drifts in that part of the river.
  6. of snow
  7. 4[countable] a large pile of something, especially snow, made by the wind The road was blocked by deep drifts of snow. see also snowdrift
  8. of flowers
  9. 5[countable] a large mass of something, especially flowers Plant daffodils in informal drifts.
  10. meaning
  11. 6[singular] the general meaning of what someone says or writes synonym gist Do you catch my drift? My German isn't very good, but Igot the drift of what she said. see also continental drift
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: drift