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verb [intransitive] drift pronunciation in British English /drɪft/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participledrifting
past tensedrifted
past participledrifted
  1. 1
    to be pushed along very slowly by the movement of air or water

    The boat started to drift out to sea.

    Thick smoke drifted across the town.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of drift
  2. 3
    to move somewhere slowly as though you do not know where you are going

    People were drifting around the conference centre.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of drift
  3. 4
    to go from one state to another without realizing it

    He was drifting in and out of consciousness.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of drift
  4. 5
    to do something or to happen in a way that is not planned

    The conversation drifted from one dull subject to the another.

    I just drifted into nursing really.


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