Meaning of SHIFT in English
I. shift 1 S3 W3 AC /ʃɪft/ BrE AmE verb
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: sciftan 'to divide, arrange' ]
1 . MOVE
a) [intransitive and transitive] to move from one place or position to another, or make something do this:
Joe listened, shifting uncomfortably from one foot to another.
She shifted her gaze from me to Bobby.
b) [transitive] British English informal to move something, especially by picking it up and carrying it:
Give me a hand to shift these chairs.
2 . CHANGE ATTENTION [transitive] to change a situation, discussion etc by giving special attention to one idea or subject instead of to a previous one
shift something away/onto/from etc
The White House hopes to shift the media’s attention away from foreign policy issues.
In this stage of a rape case, the focus often shifts onto the victim and her conduct.
shift gear American English (=change what you are doing)
It’s hard to shift gear when you come home after a busy day at work.
3 . CHANGE OPINION [intransitive and transitive] if someone’s opinions, beliefs etc shift, they change:
Public opinion was beginning to shift to the right (=become more right-wing) .
shifting attitudes towards marriage
He refused to shift his ground (=change his opinion) .
4 . shift the blame/responsibility (onto somebody) to make someone else responsible for something, especially for something bad that has happened:
It was a clear attempt to shift the responsibility for the crime onto the victim.
5 . COSTS/SPENDING [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to change the way that money is paid or spent SYN direct :
the need to shift more resources towards reducing poverty
6 . DIRT/MARKS [transitive] British English to remove dirt or marks from a surface or piece of clothing:
a new washing powder that will shift any stain
7 . IN A CAR [intransitive and transitive] especially American English to change the ↑ gear s when you are driving SYN change British English :
I shifted into second gear.
8 . SELL [transitive] British English informal to sell a product, especially a lot of it:
The store shifted over 1,000 copies of the book last week.
II. shift 2 AC BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . a change in the way people think about something, in the way something is done etc
the shift from one type of economic system to another
an important shift in policy
a marked shift (=noticeable change) in attitudes towards women
a) if workers in a factory, hospital etc work shifts, they work for a particular period of time during the day or night, and are then replaced by others, so that there are always people working
do/work a (10-/12-/24- etc hour) shift
Dave had to work a 12-hour shift yesterday.
I work shifts.
night/day etc shift
The thought of working night shifts put her off becoming a nurse.
I’m on the early shift tomorrow.
people who do shift work
A shift system has been introduced.
b) the workers who work during one of these periods
before the early shift goes off duty
3 . a ↑ shift key :
To run the spell-checker, press SHIFT and F7.
4 . ( also shift dress ) a simple straight loose-fitting woman’s dress
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + shift
▪ a big/major shift
There has recently been a big shift in the way people are accessing information.
▪ a significant/marked shift (=big and noticeable)
There has been a significant shift in government policy on education.
▪ a fundamental shift (=a complete change)
A fundamental shift in attitudes was underway.
▪ a sudden shift
She immediately picked up his sudden shifts of mood.
▪ a dramatic shift (=a big and sudden change)
Increased spending on the armed forces marks a dramatic shift in priorities.
▪ a small/slight shift
There has been only a slight shift in income distribution.
▪ a gradual shift
There has been a gradual shift in people’s attitudes towards cars.
▪ a subtle shift (=a change which is small and not easy to notice)
Recently there has been a subtle shift in public opinion about the environment.
▪ a policy shift
The policy shift was triggered by a sharp increase in violent crime.
▪ a cultural shift
We all know there were cultural shifts in the 1960s that significantly changed our society.
▪ mark/represent a shift
The idea represents a dramatic shift in health care policy.
▪ cause/bring about a shift
The affair has brought about a shift in the government’s attitude towards immigration.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ work a shift
They work quite long shifts.
▪ do a shift
I did a 12-hour shift yesterday.
▪ work in shifts
We had to work in shifts – four hours on and four off.
▪ be on shift (=be working a shift)
He hardly sees the kids when he’s on shift.
▪ be on the late/early/night etc shift (=be working a particular shift)
She’s on the late shift.
▪ be on day/night shifts (=be working a series of day or night shifts)
He’s on night shifts all next week.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + shift
▪ a night shift
She found it hard to stay awake during her night shifts at the factory.
▪ a day shift
He’s going to be on day shifts for five days.
▪ a morning/afternoon/evening shift
All the machines are cleaned at the end of every afternoon shift.
▪ an early/late shift
Nobody wants to do the late shift.
▪ a 12-hour/16-hour etc shift
We used to work eight-hour shifts.
▪ the graveyard shift informal (=a shift that begins late at night or very early in the morning)
He chose to work the graveyard shift because the pay was slightly better.
▪ a double shift (=when someone works two shifts one after the other)
He is only halfway through a 20-hour double shift.
■ shift + NOUN
▪ shift work/working (=working shifts)
Does the job involve shift work?
▪ a shift worker
The meetings are at different times so that shift workers have an opportunity to attend.
▪ a shift system (=a system in which people work shifts)
A shift system was introduced in the department last year.
• • •
▪ change noun [uncountable and countable] a situation in which someone or something becomes different, or the act of making something different:
There was a sudden change in the weather.
We are living in a period of great change.
He was told to make some slight changes to his essay.
▪ alteration noun [uncountable and countable] a change, especially a small one that happens naturally or gradually, or one that is made in order to improve something:
I noticed a slight alteration in her behaviour.
They had to make some alterations to their original theory.
▪ reform noun [uncountable and countable] a change made to a system or law in order to improve it:
He called for a reform of our outdated voting system.
Many people opposed the economic reforms.
▪ shift noun [countable] a change, especially in people’s attitudes or in the way they do things, or in the position of someone or something:
a shift in public opinion about the war
There has been a noticeable shift in government policy on education.
There needs to be a major shift away from road transport to rail transport.
After he died, there was a dramatic shift in the balance of power.
▪ swing a big change, especially in someone’s opinions or moods:
There has been a big swing toward the Democrats (=many more people are supporting them) .
The drug can cause mood swings.
▪ fluctuation noun [uncountable and countable] a change in something - used when something changes often:
fluctuations in the value of the dollar
fluctuations in his mood
There has been some fluctuation in productivity levels.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012