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  1. [noun] a force that moves something along
    Synonyms: impetus, impulsion

  2. [noun] the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane)

  3. [noun] a process of linguistic change over a period of time

  4. [noun] something that is heaped up by the wind or by water currents

  5. [noun] a general tendency to change (as of opinion); "not openly liberal but that is the trend of the book"; "a broad movement of the electorate to the right"
    Synonyms: trend, movement

  6. [noun] general meaning or tenor; "caught the drift of the conversation"
    Synonyms: purport

  7. [noun] a horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine; "they dug a drift parallel with the vein"
    Synonyms: heading, gallery

  8. [verb] be in motion due to some air or water current; "The leaves were blowing in the wind"; "the boat drifted on the lake"; "The sailboat was adrift on the open sea"; "the shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore"
    Synonyms: float, be ablow

  9. [verb] wander from a direct course or at random; "The child strayed from the path and her parents lost sight of her"; "don't drift from the set course"
    Synonyms: stray, err

  10. [verb] move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment; "The gypsies roamed the woods"; "roving vagabonds"; "the wandering Jew"; "The cattle roam across the prairie"; "the laborers drift from one town to the next"; "They rolled from town to town"
    Synonyms: roll, wander, swan, stray, tramp, roam, cast, ramble, rove, range, vagabond

  11. [verb] vary or move from a fixed point or course; "stock prices are drifting higher"

  12. [verb] live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely; "My son drifted around for years in California before going to law school"
    Synonyms: freewheel

  13. [verb] move in an unhurried fashion; "The unknown young man drifted among the invited guests"

  14. [verb] cause to be carried by a current; "drift the boats downstream"

  15. [verb] drive slowly and far afield for grazing; "drift the cattle herds westwards"

  16. [verb] be subject to fluctuation; "The stock market drifted upward"

  17. [verb] be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of wind or a current; "snow drifting several feet high"; "sand drifting like snow"


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