verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- a straight, loose-fitting dress worn with or without a belt.
- a woman's chemise or slip.
- a change or system of parallel changes that affects the sound structure of a language, as the series of related changes in the English vowel system from Middle English to Modern English.
- a change in the meaning or use of a word.Compare functional shift.
- any of successive crops.
- the tract of land used.
- shield-tailed snake,
- shift bid,
- shift for oneself,
- shift key,
- shift lever,
- shift lock
Origin of shift
Examples from the Web for shift
Most other social justice movements are seeking some shift of power and money.The Real Story Behind the Fight for Marriage Equality|E.J. Graff|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And Asians also showed a shift toward the GOP in the mid-terms.
He didn't want to be there exposed, unable to shift the focus when he felt like it.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There is no doubt that some unfortunate reporter, tasked with working the weekend shift, would have looked into them.
The shift in language and content is click-bait for the enterprising eBay-er.Dismembering History: The Shady Online Trade in Ancient Texts|Candida Moss|November 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He could not, of course, leave his master to shift for himself on the highways in such a condition.The Story of Don Quixote|Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
For he found out such a shift, that in hys flatterying he passed us all the many.The Town|Leigh Hunt
"It's very true; they're nice," Nana would say as she lingered on the floor to change her shift.
It was ahead and reverse, ahead and reverse, with only the briefest of pauses in which to shift the gears.Dutch Courage and Other Stories|Jack London
He could shift to either Foot and he kept his Maxillary covered.Ade's Fables|George Ade
Word Origin for shift
Old English sciftan, scyftan "arrange, place, order," also "divide, partition; distribute, allot, share," from Proto-Germanic *skiftan (cf. Old Norse skipta "to divide, change, separate," Old Frisian skifta "to decide, determine, test," Dutch schiften "to divide, turn," German schichten "to classify," Schicht "shift"). This is said to be related to the source of Old English sceadan "divide, separate," (see shed (v.)).
c.1200 as "to dispose; make ready; set in order, control," also intransitive, "take care of oneself." From c.1300 as "to go, move, depart; move (someone or something), transport." Sense of "to alter, to change" appeared mid-13c. (cf. shiftless). Meaning "change the gear setting of an engine" is from 1910; to shift gears in the figurative sense is from 1961. Related: Shifted; shifting.
c.1300, "a movement, a beginning," from shift (v.). This is the word in to make shift "make efforts" (mid-15c.). Sense of "change, alteration" is from 1560s. Sense of "means to an end" is from 1520s; hence "an expedient." Meaning "mechanism for changing gear in a motor vehicle" is recorded from 1914. Typewriter shift key is from 1893; shift-lock is from 1899.
Meaning "period of working time" (originally in a mine) is attested from 1809, with older sense "relay of horses" (1708); perhaps with sense influenced by a North Sea Germanic cognate word (e.g. North Frisian skeft "division, stratum," skaft "one of successive parties of workmen"). Similar double senses of "division" and "relay of workers" exist in Swedish skift, German schicht.
"body garment, underclothing," 1590s, originally used alike of men's and women's pieces, probably from shift (n.1), which was commonly used in reference to a change of clothes. In 17c., it began to be used as a euphemism for smock, and was itself displaced, for similar reasons of delicacy, in 19c. by chemise.