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[uh-drift] /əˈdrɪft/
adjective, adverb
floating without control; drifting; not anchored or moored:
The survivors were adrift in the rowboat for three days.
lacking aim, direction, or stability.
Origin of adrift
First recorded in 1615-25; a-1 + drift Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for adrift
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But we were afraid to lose sight of the bridge, lest we should get all adrift.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • "I think if I were up there I'd cut us adrift," said Stanley grimly.

  • Then she introduced her daughter to Drake and sent them adrift through the rooms.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • We'd be adrift and out of sight of land if Mary-'Gusta went away.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Have a civil tongue, then, and don't provoke me to turn you adrift on the world.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for adrift


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
floating without steering or mooring; drifting
without purpose; aimless
(informal) off course or amiss: the project went adrift
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adrift

1620s, from a- (1) "on" + drift. Figurative use by 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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