Meaning of SHIFT in English


v. & n.


1. intr. & tr. change or move or cause to change or move from one position to another.

2 tr. remove, esp. with effort (washing won't shift the stains).

3 sl. a intr. hurry (we'll have to shift!). b tr. consume (food or drink) hastily or in bulk. c tr. sell (esp. dubious goods).

4 intr. contrive or manage as best one can.

5 US a tr. change (gear) in a vehicle. b intr. change gear.

6 intr. (of cargo) get shaken out of place.

7 intr. archaic be evasive or indirect.


1. a the act or an instance of shifting. b the substitution of one thing for another; a rotation.

2 a a relay of workers (the night shift). b the time for which they work (an eight-hour shift).

3 a a device, stratagem, or expedient. b a dodge, trick, or evasion.

4 a a woman's straight unwaisted dress. b archaic a loose-fitting undergarment.

5 a displacement of spectral lines (see also red shift).

6 (also sound shift) a systematic change in pronunciation as a language evolves.

7 a key on a keyboard used to switch between lower and upper case etc.

8 Bridge a a change of suit in bidding. b US a change of suit in play.

9 the positioning of successive rows of bricks so that their ends do not coincide.

10 US a a gear lever in a motor vehicle. b a mechanism for this.

Phrases and idioms:

make shift manage or contrive; get along somehow (made shift without it). shift for oneself rely on one's own efforts. shift one's ground take up a new position in an argument etc. shift off get rid of (responsibility etc.) to another.


shiftable adj. shifter n.

Etymology: OE sciftan arrange, divide, etc., f. Gmc

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.