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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Shift


SHIFT, verb intransitive

1. To move; to change place or position. Vegetables are not able to shift and seek nutriment.

2. To change its direction; to vary; as, the wind shifted from south to west.

3. To change; to give place to other things.

4. To change clothes particularly the under garment or chemise.

5. To resort to expedients for a livelihood, or for accomplishing a purpose; to move from one thing to another, and to seize one expedient when anohter fails.

Men in distress will look to themselves, and leave their companions to shift as well as they can. L'Estrange.

6. To practice indirect methods.

7. To seek methods of safety.

Nature teaches every creature how to shift for itself in cases of danger.

L'Estrange.

8. To change place; as, cargo shifts from one side to the other.

SHIFT, verb transitive

1. To change; to alter; as, to shift the scenes.

2. To transfer from one place or position to another; as, shift the helm; shift the sails.

3. To put out of the way by some expedient.

I shifted him away.

4. To change, as clothes; as, to shift a coat.

5. To dress in fresh clothes. Let him have time to shift himself.

To shift about, to turn quite round, to a contrary side or opposite point.

To shift off, to delay; to defer; as, to shift off the duteis of religion.

2. To put away; to disengage or disencumber one's self, as of a burden or inconvenience.

SHIFT, noun

1. A change; a turning from one thing to another; hence, an expedient tried in difficulty; one thing tried when another fails.

I'll find a thousand shifts to get away. Shak.

2. In a bad sense, mean refuge; last resource.

For little soul on little shifts rely. Dryden.

3. Fraud; artifice; expedient to effect a bad purpose; or an evasion; a trick to escape detection or evil.

4. A woman's under garment; a chemise.