shift




Shift the verb and shift the noun are very similar in meaning. A shift is a change in something or an adjustment in the way something is done. You can either make a shift (that’s the noun), or you can just shift (that’s the verb).

What makes a shift different from, say, a change is that it implies some kind of movement; a sense that the thing that you’re shifting is still the same thing, just moving in a different direction. For example, when you shift gears in a car you’re simply moving from one gear to another. If you shift your focus, you’re still focused, but the focus has moved. If the government shifts its policy, that policy, while different, is still a policy.

Definitions of shift
  1. verb

    move very slightly

    “He
    shifted in his seat”
    synonyms:
    agitate, budge, stir
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    type of:

    move

    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

  2. verb

    move sideways or in an unsteady way

    synonyms:
    careen, tilt, wobble
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    type of:

    move

    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

  3. verb

    move abruptly

    synonyms:
    lurch, pitch
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    type of:

    move

    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

  4. verb

    change place or direction

    Shift one’s position”
    synonyms:
    dislodge, reposition
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    types:

    beat down

    dislodge from a position
    type of:

    displace, move

    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

  5. verb

    move around

    synonyms:
    transfer
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    types:

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    transpose

    transfer a quantity from one side of an equation to the other side reversing its sign, in order to maintain equality
    shunt

    transfer to another track, of trains
    carry

    transfer (a number, cipher, or remainder) to the next column or unit’s place before or after, in addition or multiplication
    shuffle

    move about, move back and forth
    transship

    transfer for further transportation from one ship or conveyance to another
    bunker

    transfer cargo from a ship to a warehouse
    carry forward, carry over

    transfer from one time period to the next
    remove, transfer

    shift the position or location of, as for business, legal, educational, or military purposes
    translocate

    transfer (a chromosomal segment) to a new position
    type of:

    displace, move

    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

  6. verb

    change in quality

    “His tone
    shifted
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    type of:

    change

    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one’s or its original nature

  7. verb

    move and exchange for another

    shift the date for our class reunion”
    see moresee less

    type of:

    exchange, interchange, replace, substitute

    put in the place of another; switch seemingly equivalent items

  8. verb

    lay aside, abandon, or leave for another

    synonyms:
    change, switch

    change, commute, convert, exchange

    exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category
    change

    change clothes; put on different clothes
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    types:

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    transition

    make or undergo a transition (from one state or system to another)
    break

    change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another
    channel-surf, surf

    switch channels, on television
    jump, leap

    pass abruptly from one state or topic to another
    diphthongise, diphthongize

    change from a simple vowel to a diphthong
    cut

    make an abrupt change of image or sound
    break

    change directions suddenly
    break

    undergo breaking
    cut away

    move quickly to another scene or focus when filming

  9. verb

    move from one setting or context to another

    shift the emphasis”
    shift one’s attention”
    see moresee less

    types:

    transfer, transplant, transpose

    transfer from one place or period to another
    type of:

    alter, change, modify

    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

  10. verb

    make a shift in or exchange of

    synonyms:
    change over, switch
    see moresee less

    types:

    back

    shift to a counterclockwise direction
    veer

    shift to a clockwise direction
    type of:

    alter, change, modify

    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

  11. verb

    change phonetically as part of a systematic historical change

    “Grimm showed how the consonants
    shifted
    see moresee less

    type of:

    change

    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one’s or its original nature

  12. verb

    change gears

    “you have to
    shift when you go down a steep hill”
    see moresee less

    type of:

    change, switch

    lay aside, abandon, or leave for another

  13. noun

    the act of moving from one place to another

    synonyms:
    shifting
    see moresee less

    type of:

    motion, move, movement

    the act of changing location from one place to another

  14. noun

    the act of changing one thing or position for another

    synonyms:
    switch, switching
    see moresee less

    types:

    switcheroo

    a sudden unexpected switch
    type of:

    change

    the action of changing something

  15. noun

    a qualitative change

    synonyms:
    transformation, transmutation
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    types:

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    advance, betterment, improvement

    a change for the better; progress in development
    population shift

    a change in the relative numbers of the different groups of individuals making up a population
    pyrolysis

    transformation of a substance produced by the action of heat
    sea change

    a profound transformation
    sublimation

    (chemistry) a change directly from the solid to the gaseous state without becoming liquid
    tin disease, tin pest, tin plague

    the transformation of ordinary white tin into powdery grey tin at very cold temperatures
    changeover, conversion, transition

    an event that results in a transformation
    degeneration, retrogression

    passing from a more complex to a simpler biological form
    strengthening

    becoming stronger
    weakening

    becoming weaker
    renaissance, resurgence, revitalisation, revitalization, revival, revivification

    bringing again into activity and prominence
    debilitation, enervation, enfeeblement, exhaustion

    serious weakening and loss of energy
    elaboration, refinement

    the result of improving something
    accommodation, adjustment, fitting

    making or becoming suitable; adjusting to circumstances
    glycogenesis

    the conversion of glucose to glycogen when the glucose in the blood exceeds the demand
    isomerisation, isomerization

    the conversion of a compound into an isomer of itself
    rectification

    the conversion of alternating current to direct current
    conservation, preservation

    an occurrence of improvement by virtue of preventing loss or injury or other change
    recovery

    return to an original state
    atrophy, withering

    any weakening or degeneration (especially through lack of use)
    attenuation, fading

    weakening in force or intensity
    downfall, fall

    a sudden decline in strength or number or importance
    abiotrophy

    a loss of vitality and a degeneration of cells and tissues not due to any apparent injury
    cataplasia

    (biology) degenerative reversion of cells or tissue to a less differentiated or more primitive form
    loosening, relaxation, slackening

    an occurrence of control or strength weakening
    type of:

    alteration, change, modification

    an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another

  16. noun

    an event in which something is displaced without rotation

    synonyms:
    displacement
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    types:

    amplitude

    (physics) the maximum displacement of a periodic wave
    luxation

    displacement or misalignment of a joint or organ
    subluxation

    partial displacement of a joint or organ
    type of:

    translation

    a uniform movement without rotation

  17. noun

    (geology) a crack in the earth’s crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other

    synonyms:
    break, fault, faulting, fracture, geological fault
    see moresee less

    examples:

    Denali Fault

    a major open geological fault in Alaska
    San Andreas Fault

    a major geological fault in California; runs from San Diego to San Francisco; the source of serious earthquakes
    types:

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    inclined fault

    a geological fault in which one side is above the other
    strike-slip fault

    a geological fault in which one of the adjacent surfaces appears to have moved horizontally
    common fault, gravity fault, normal fault

    an inclined fault in which the hanging wall appears to have slipped downward relative to the footwall
    overthrust fault, reverse fault, thrust fault

    a geological fault in which the upper side appears to have been pushed upward by compression
    type of:

    cleft, crack, crevice, fissure, scissure

    a long narrow opening

  18. verb

    use a shift key on a keyboard

    “She could not
    shift so all her letters are written in lower case”
    see moresee less

    type of:

    type, typewrite

    write by means of a keyboard with types

  19. noun

    the key on the typewriter keyboard that shifts from lower-case letters to upper-case letters

    synonyms:
    shift key
    see moresee less

    type of:

    key

    a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed

  20. noun

    the time period during which you are at work

    synonyms:
    duty period, work shift
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    types:

    show 9 types…
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    go, spell, tour, turn

    a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else)
    trick

    a period of work or duty
    watch

    a period of time (4 or 2 hours) during which some of a ship’s crew are on duty
    day shift

    the work shift during the day (as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
    evening shift, swing shift

    the work shift during the evening (as 4 p.m. to midnight)
    graveyard shift, night shift

    the work shift during the night (as midnight to 8 a.m.)
    split shift

    a working shift divided into two periods of time with several hours in between
    dogwatch

    either of two short watches: from 4-6 pm or 6-8 pm
    graveyard watch, middle watch, midwatch, night watch

    a watch during the night (as from midnight to 8 a.m.)
    type of:

    hours

    a period of time assigned for work

  21. noun

    a crew of workers who work for a specific period of time

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    types:

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    day shift, day watch

    workers who work during the day (as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
    evening shift

    workers who work during the evening (as 4 p.m. to midnight)
    graveyard shift, night shift

    workers who work during the night (as midnight to 8 a.m.)
    relay

    a crew of workers who relieve another crew
    type of:

    crew, gang, work party

    an organized group of workmers

  22. noun

    a woman’s sleeveless undergarment

    synonyms:
    chemise, shimmy, slip, teddy
    see moresee less

    type of:

    undergarment, unmentionable

    a garment worn under other garments

  23. noun

    a loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist

    synonyms:
    chemise, sack
    see moresee less

    type of:

    dress, frock

    a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice

Word Family