North American the gear lever or gear-changing mechanism in a vehicle.
[mass noun] Building the positioning of successive rows of bricks so that their ends do not coincide.
Computing a movement of the digits of a word in a register one or more places to left or right, equivalent to multiplying or dividing the corresponding number by a power of whatever number is the base.
American Football a change of position by two or more players before the ball is put into play.
2each of two or more recurring periods in which different groups of workers do the same jobs in relay:Anne was on the night shift
the group of people who work during a particular shift:the bus was still waiting there when the day shift went home
3 (also shift dress) a woman’s straight unwaisted dress.
historical a long, loose-fitting undergarment.
4 archaic an ingenious or devious device or stratagem:the thousand shifts and devices of which Hannibal was a master
1move or cause to move from one place to another, especially over a small distance: [with object]:a team from the power company came to shift the cables away from the house [no object]:the roof cracked and shifted
[no object] change the position of one’s body, especially because one is nervous or uncomfortable:he shifted a little in his chair
[with object] change the emphasis, direction, or focus of:she’s shifting the blame on to me
[no object] change in emphasis, direction, or focus:the wind had shifted to the eastthe balance of power shifted abruptly
[no object]British informal move quickly:you’ll have time for a bite if you shift
(in imperative shift oneself) British informal move from a place or rouse oneself from a state of inactivity:shift yourself, Ruby, do something useful and get the plates
[with object] Computing move (data) to the right or left in a register:the partial remainder is shifted left
[with object]British informal remove (a stain):thorough cleaning is necessary to shift all cooking residues
[with object] informal sell (something):a lot of high-priced product you simply don’t know how to shift
[with object]British informal eat or drink (something) hastily or in large amounts.
2 [no object] chiefly North American change gear in a vehicle:she shifted down to fourth
3 [no object] archaic be evasive or indirect:they know not how to shift and rob as the old ones do
get a shift on
British informal hurry up:it’s quite a drive to London, so we should really get a shift on
do what one wants to do in spite of not having ideal conditions.
shift for oneself
manage as best one can without help.
shift one's ground
say or write something that contradicts something one has previously written or said.