[ shift ]
/ ʃɪft /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)



    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 confused

shift 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 Forms

shifter, 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

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.