Shift Shift (sh[i^]ft), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Shifted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shifting}.] [OE. shiften, schiften, to divide, change, remove. AS. sciftan to divide; akin to LG. & D. schiften to divide, distinguish, part Icel. skipta to divide, to part, to shift, to change, Dan skifte, Sw. skifta, and probably to Icel. sk[=i]fa to cut into slices, as n., a slice, and to E. shive, sheave, n., shiver, n.] 1. To divide; to distribute; to apportion. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

To which God of his bounty would shift Crowns two of flowers well smelling. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. To change the place of; to move or remove from one place to another; as, to shift a burden from one shoulder to another; to shift the blame. [1913 Webster]

Hastily he schifte him[self]. --Piers Plowman. [1913 Webster]

Pare saffron between the two St. Mary's days, Or set or go shift it that knowest the ways. --Tusser. [1913 Webster]

3. To change the position of; to alter the bearings of; to turn; as, to shift the helm or sails. [1913 Webster]

Carrying the oar loose, [they] shift it hither and thither at pleasure. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

4. To exchange for another of the same class; to remove and to put some similar thing in its place; to change; as, to shift the clothes; to shift the scenes. [1913 Webster]

I would advise you to shift a shirt. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. To change the clothing of; -- used reflexively. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

As it were to ride day and night; and . . . not to have patience to shift me. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. To put off or out of the way by some expedient. ``I shifted him away.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{To shift off}, to delay; to defer; to put off; to lay aside.

{To shift the scene}, to change the locality or the surroundings, as in a play or a story. [1913 Webster]

Shift the scene for half an hour; Time and place are in thy power. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • shifting — UK US /ˈʃɪftɪŋ/ adjective [before noun] ► changing all the time: »Our marketing needs to keep up with shifting consumer profiles …   Financial and business terms

  • shifting — shift|ing [ ʃıftıŋ ] adjective 1. ) shifting objects, lights, or SHADOWS frequently change their shape or appearance: shifting patterns of light 2. ) shifting things such as standards or relationships are always changing: shifting moral values… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • shifting — UK [ˈʃɪftɪŋ] / US adjective 1) shifting objects, lights, or shadows frequently change their shape or appearance shifting patterns of light 2) shifting things such as standards or relationships are always changing shifting moral values • shifting… …   English dictionary

  • shifting — I noun the act of moving from one place to another his constant shifting disrupted the class • Syn: ↑shift • Derivationally related forms: ↑shift, ↑shifty (for: ↑shift) …   Useful english dictionary

  • shifting — [[t]ʃɪ̱ftɪŋ[/t]] ADJ: ADJ n Shifting is used to describe something which is made up of parts that are continuously moving and changing position in relation to other parts. → See also shift ...the shifting sand beneath their feet... The Croatian… …   English dictionary

  • shifting — Synonyms and related words: aberrancy, aberrant, aberration, aberrative, adrift, afloat, alternating, alternation, amorphous, bend, bias, bickering, boggling, branching off, capricious, captiousness, caviling, changeable, changeful, chicane,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • shifting — noun A shift; a shifting movement …   Wiktionary

  • shifting — adj. Shifting is used with these nouns: ↑allegiance, ↑alliance, ↑balance, ↑sand, ↑tide …   Collocations dictionary

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