Meaning of SHIFT in English


I. ˈshift verb

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sciftan to divide, arrange; akin to Old Norse skipa to arrange, assign

Date: 13th century

transitive verb

1. : to exchange for or replace by another : change


a. : to change the place, position, or direction of : move

b. : to make a change in (place)

3. : to change phonetically

intransitive verb


a. : to change place or position

b. : to change direction

the wind shift ed

c. : to change gears

d. : to depress the shift key (as on a typewriter)


a. : to assume responsibility

had to shift for themselves

b. : to resort to expedients


a. : to go through a change

she shift ed in her approach

b. : to change one's clothes

c. : to become changed phonetically

• shift·able ˈshif-tə-bəl adjective

- shift gears

II. noun

Date: 1523


a. : a means or device for effecting an end


(1) : a deceitful or underhand scheme : dodge

(2) : an effort or expedient exerted or tried in difficult circumstances : extremity

was put to hard shift s for a living — Benjamin Franklin


a. chiefly dialect : a change of clothes


(1) chiefly dialect : shirt

(2) : a woman's slip or chemise

(3) : a usually loose-fitting or semifitted dress


a. : a change in direction

a shift in the wind

b. : a change in emphasis, judgment, or attitude


a. : a group of people who work or occupy themselves in turn with other groups


(1) : a change of one group of people (as workers) for another in regular alternation

(2) : a scheduled period of work or duty

works the night shift

5. : a change in place or position: as

a. : a change in the position of the hand on a fingerboard (as of a violin)


(1) : fault 5

(2) : the relative displacement of rock masses on opposite sides of a fault or fault zone


(1) : a simultaneous change of position in football by two or more players from one side of the line to the other

(2) : a change of positions made by one or more players in baseball to provide better defense against a particular hitter

d. : a change in frequency resulting in a change in position of a spectral line or band — compare Doppler effect

e. : a movement of bits in a computer register a specified number of places to the right or left

6. : a removal from one person or thing to another : transfer

7. : consonant shift

8. : a bid in bridge in a suit other than the suit one's partner has bid — compare jump

9. : gearshift

Synonyms: see resource

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.