If something's adrift, it's floating, not tied down or anchored. A raft that's adrift on a river will float downstream.

If a ship goes adrift, it meanders off course, simply traveling with the water rather than on a charted course. Likewise, if you feel your life has gone figuratively adrift, you may have lost track of your plans and feel like you're wandering without a purpose. The word adrift comes from the sense of drift that means "a slow movement from one place to another," from an Old Norse root word.

Definitions of adrift
  1. adjective
    afloat on the surface of a body of water
    “after the storm the boats were adrift
    borne on the water; floating
  2. adjective
    aimlessly drifting
    synonyms: afloat, aimless, directionless, planless, rudderless, undirected
    not evidencing any purpose or goal
  3. adverb
    floating freely; not anchored
  4. adverb
    off course, wandering aimlessly
    “there was a search for beauty that had somehow gone adrift
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘adrift'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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