Definition of shift noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʃɪft//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃɪft//
    Manufacturing, Using a computer
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  1. 1  [countable] shift (in something) a change in position or direction a dramatic shift in public opinion a shift of emphasis see also paradigm shift
  2. period of work
  3. 2  [countable] a period of time worked by a group of workers who start work as another group finishes to be on the day/night shift at the factory to work an eight-hour shift working in shifts shift workers/work CollocationsJobsGetting a job look for work look for/​apply for/​go for a job get/​pick up/​complete/​fill out/ (British English) fill in an application (form) send/​email your (British English) CV/(North American English) résumé/application/​application form/​covering letter be called for/​have/​attend an interview offer somebody a job/​work/​employment/​promotion find/​get/​land a job employ/ (especially North American English) hire/​recruit/ (especially British English) take on staff/​workers/​trainees recruit/​appoint a managerDoing a job arrive at/​get to/​leave work/​the office/​the factory start/​finish work/​your shift do/​put in/​work overtime have/​gain/​get/​lack/​need experience/​qualifications do/​get/​have/​receive training learn/​pick up/​improve/​develop (your) skills cope with/​manage/​share/​spread the workload improve your/​achieve a better work-life balance have (no) job satisfaction/​job securityBuilding a career have a job/​work/​a career/​a vocation find/​follow/​pursue/ (especially North American English) live (out) your vocation enter/​go into/​join a profession choose/​embark on/​start/​begin/​pursue a career change jobs/​profession/​career be/ (both especially British English) work/​go freelance do/​take on temp work/​freelance work do/​be engaged in/​be involved in voluntary workLeaving your job leave/ (especially North American English) quit/​resign from your job give up work/​your job/​your career hand in your notice/​resignation plan to/​be due to retire in June/​next year, etc. take early retirement see also swing shift See related entries: Manufacturing
  4. 3  [countable + singular or plural verb] the workers who work a particular shift The night shift has/have just come off duty.
  5. on computer
  6. 4[uncountable] (also shift key [singular]) the system on a computer keyboard or typewriter that allows capital letters or a different set of characters to be typed; the key that operates this system Wordfinderbackspace, click, control, cursor, escape, keyboard, return, shift, slash, space bar See related entries: Using a computer
  7. clothing
  8. 5 [countable] a woman’s simple straight dress
  9. 6[countable] a simple straight piece of clothing worn by women in the past as underwear
  10. Word OriginOld English sciftan ‘arrange, divide, share’, of Germanic origin; related to German schichten ‘to layer’. A common Middle English sense ‘change, replace’ gave rise to the noun senses (5) and (6) (via the sense of ‘changing one's clothes’) and senses (2) and (3) (via the sense of ‘relays of workers’). Wordfinderassembly line, capacity, factory, foreman, plant, process, production, shift, shop floor, workforceExtra examples He works the night shift. I agreed to work double shifts for a few weeks. I detected a subtle shift towards our point of view. I didn’t realize that I’d have to work shifts. I’m doing the early shift this week. It was 8 a.m. and the nurses were changing shifts. My husband changed his shifts from afternoons to nights. My husband has changed his shifts, from the afternoon shift to the night one. The clinic is staffed by ten doctors who work in shifts. The industry has undergone a fundamental shift in recent years. The moment marked a significant shift in attitudes to the war. The shift change took place at 10 p.m. There has been a major shift in the public’s taste. These climate shifts occurred over less than a decade. These proposals represent a dramatic shift in policy. They’d altered his shift pattern twice in the past fortnight. a decision for the chief nurse on each shift a shift in attitude/​opinion/​perspective a shift in direction/​focus/​policy/​strategy a shift in emphasis/​mood/​tone a shift towards part-time farming a sudden shift to the right in British politics one factor which may explain the president’s policy shift the many shifts between verse and prose that occur in Shakespeare the shift away from direct taxation As I left the next shift was settling in for the day. Most of the night shift had already left. The drama began at 5.15 am as the day shift was going on duty. There was a gradual shift in the population away from the countryside to the towns. These results mark a dramatic shift in public opinion.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shift