[ shift ]
/ ʃɪft /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


Nearby words

  1. shield-tailed snake,
  2. shields,
  3. shieling,
  4. shier,
  5. shiest,
  6. shift bid,
  7. shift for oneself,
  8. shift key,
  9. shift lever,
  10. shift lock


    shift gears. gear(def 19).

Origin of shift

before 1000; (v.) Middle English shiften to arrange, Old English sciftan; cognate with German schichten to arrange in order, Old Norse skipta to divide; (noun) Middle English: contrivance, start, derivative of the v.

Related forms
Can be confusedshift shrift Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shift

British Dictionary definitions for shift


/ (ʃɪft) /



Derived Formsshifter, noun

Word Origin for shift

Old English sciftan; related to Old Norse skipta to divide, Middle Low German schiften, to separate

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

Word Origin and History for shift
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for shift


[ shĭft ]


To move or transfer from one place or position to another.
To alter position or place.
To exchange one thing for another of the same type or class.


A change from one person or configuration to another; a substitution.
A change in position.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.