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Definition of 'shift'

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  1. an event in which something is displaced without rotation
       Synonyms: displacement
  2. a qualitative change
       Synonyms: transformation transmutation
  3. the time period during which you are at work
       Synonyms: work shift duty period
  4. the act of changing one thing or position for another; "his switch on abortion cost him the election"
       Synonyms: switch switching
  5. the act of moving from one place to another; "his constant shifting disrupted the class"
       Synonyms: shifting
  6. (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other; "they built it right over a geological fault"; "he studied the faulting of the earth's crust"
       Synonyms: fault faulting geological fault fracture break
  7. a crew of workers who work for a specific period of time
  8. the key on the typewriter keyboard that shifts from lower-case letters to upper-case letters
       Synonyms: shift key
  9. a woman's sleeveless undergarment
       Synonyms: chemise shimmy slip teddy
  10. a loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist
       Synonyms: chemise sack


  1. make a shift in or exchange of; "First Joe led; then we switched"
       Synonyms: switch change over
  2. change place or direction; "Shift one's position"
       Synonyms: dislodge reposition
  3. move around; "transfer the packet from his trouser pockets to a pocket in his jacket"
       Synonyms: transfer
  4. move very slightly; "He shifted in his seat"
       Synonyms: stir budge agitate
  5. move from one setting or context to another; "shift the emphasis"; "shift one's attention"
  6. change in quality; "His tone shifted"
  7. move and exchange for another; "shift the date for our class reunion"
  8. move sideways or in an unsteady way; "The ship careened out of control"
       Synonyms: careen wobble tilt
  9. move abruptly; "The ship suddenly lurched to the left"
       Synonyms: lurch pitch
  10. use a shift key on a keyboard; "She could not shift so all her letters are written in lower case"
  11. change phonetically as part of a systematic historical change; "Grimm showed how the consonants shifted"
  12. change gears; "you have to shift when you go down a steep hill"
  13. lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; "switch to a different brand of beer"; "She switched psychiatrists"; "The car changed lanes"
       Synonyms: switch change

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