- the flow or the speed in knots of an ocean current.
- the distance between the end of a rope and the part in use.
- the distance between two blocks in a tackle.
- the difference in diameter between two parts, one of which fits within the other, as a mast and its mast hoops, or a treenail and its hole.
- a gradual change in some operating characteristic of a circuit, tube, or other electronic device, either during a brief period as an effect of warming up or during a long period as an effect of continued use.
- the movement of charge carriers in a semiconductor due to the influence of an applied voltage.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- to enlarge (a punched or drilled hole) with a drift.
- to align or straighten (holes, especially rivet holes) with a drift.
Origin of drift
Synonyms for drift
Related Words for driftlessaimless, unplanned, irregular, accidental, incidental, indiscriminate, arbitrary, odd, adventitious, casual, contingent, desultory, fluky, fortuitous, hit-or-miss, promiscuous, purposeless, slapdash, spot, stray
Examples from the Web for driftless
Contemporary Examples of driftless
Drury is also the author of Hunts in Dreams, The Driftless Area, and The Black Brook.The National Book Awards Longlist for Fiction
September 19, 2013
Historical Examples of driftless
It was a grand sight to witness the sea in a hurricane on a driftless, clear day.
The aurora was always with us, and almost without exception could be seen on a dark, driftless night.
The old, old earth is glad to turn from the cark and care of driftless centuries to the first sweet blades of green.The Hills and the Vale
A comparison of otherwise similar counties lying within and without the driftless area shows an astonishing contrast.
In the driftless area the average value per acre in 1910 was less than $24, while in the glaciated area it was nearly $64.
verb (mainly intr)
Word Origin for drift
c.1300, literally "a being driven" (of snow, etc.); not recorded in Old English; either a suffixed form of drive (v.) (cf. thrift/thrive) or borrowed from Old Norse drift "snow drift," or Middle Dutch drift "pasturage, drove, flock," both from Proto-Germanic *driftiz (cf. Danish and Swedish drift, German Trift), from PIE root *dhreibh- "to drive, push" (see drive (v.)). Sense of "what one is getting at" is from 1520s. Meaning "controlled slide of a sports car" attested by 1955.
late 16c., from drift (n.). Figurative sense of "be passive and listless" is from 1822. Related: Drifted; drifting.
see get the drift.