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.

Primary Meanings of shift

1.
vn
move very slightly
the act of moving from one place to another
2.
vn
use a shift key on a keyboard
the key on the typewriter keyboard that shifts from lower-case letters to upper-case letters
3.
n
the time period during which you are at work
4.
n
a woman's sleeveless undergarment
Full Definitions of shift
1

v move very slightly

“He shifted in his seat”
Synonyms:
agitate, budge, stir
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v move sideways or in an unsteady way

Synonyms:
careen, tilt, wobble
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v move abruptly

Synonyms:
lurch, pitch
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v change place or direction

Shift one's position”
Synonyms:
dislodge, reposition
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

v move around

Synonyms:
transfer
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

v change in quality

“His tone shifted
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v move and exchange for another

shift the date for our class reunion”
Type of:
exchange, interchange, replace, substitute
put in the place of another; switch seemingly equivalent items

v 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
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

v move from one setting or context to another

shift the emphasis”
shift one's attention”
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

v make a shift in or exchange of

Synonyms:
change over, switch
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

v change phonetically as part of a systematic historical change

“Grimm showed how the consonants shifted
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v change gears

“you have to shift when you go down a steep hill”
Type of:
change, switch
lay aside, abandon, or leave for another

n the act of moving from one place to another

Synonyms:
shifting
Type of:
motion, move, movement
the act of changing location from one place to another

n the act of changing one thing or position for another

Synonyms:
switch, switching
Types:
switcheroo
a sudden unexpected switch
Type of:
change
the action of changing something

n a qualitative change

Synonyms:
transformation, transmutation
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
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

n an event in which something is displaced without rotation

Synonyms:
displacement
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

n (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
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
2

v use a shift key on a keyboard

“She could not shift so all her letters are written in lower case”
Type of:
type, typewrite
write by means of a keyboard with types

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

Synonyms:
shift key
Type of:
key
a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed
3

n the time period during which you are at work

Synonyms:
duty period, work shift
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

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

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 workmen
4

n a woman's sleeveless undergarment

Synonyms:
chemise, shimmy, slip, teddy
Type of:
undergarment, unmentionable
a garment worn under other garments

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

Synonyms:
chemise, sack
Type of:
dress, frock
a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice

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