shift ( shifts plural & 3rd person present) ( shifting present participle) ( shifted past tense & past participle )
1 verb If you shift something or if it shifts, it moves slightly.
He stopped, shifting his cane to his left hand... V n prep/adv
He shifted from foot to foot... V prep/adv
The entire pile shifted and slid, thumping onto the floor. V
...the squeak of his boots in the snow as he shifted his weight. V n
2 verb If someone's opinion, a situation, or a policy shifts or is shifted, it changes slightly.
Attitudes to mental illness have shifted in recent years... V
The emphasis should be shifted more towards Parliament. be V-ed prep/adv
Shift is also a noun., n-count usu N prep
...a shift in government policy.
3 verb If someone shifts the responsibility or blame for something onto you, they unfairly make you responsible or make people blame you for it, instead of them., (disapproval)
It was a vain attempt to shift the responsibility for the murder to somebody else... V n prep
4 verb If a shop or company shifts goods, they sell goods that are difficult to sell.
Some suppliers were selling at a loss to shift stock.
5 verb If you shift gears in a car, you put the car into a different gear.
in BRIT, use change
6 n-count If a group of factory workers, nurses, or other people work shifts, they work for a set period before being replaced by another group, so that there is always a group working. Each of these set periods is called a shift. You can also use shift to refer to a group of workers who work together on a particular shift.
oft n N
His father worked shifts in a steel mill.
shifting shift down phrasal verb When you shift down, you move the gear lever in the vehicle you are driving in order to use a higher gear. (AM) in BRIT, use change down shift up phrasal verb When you shift up, you move the gear lever in the vehicle you are driving in order to use a higher gear. (AM) in BRIT, use change up
graveyard shift ( graveyard shifts plural ) If someone works thegraveyard shift, they work during the night.
(mainly AM) n-count usu the N
stick shift ( stick shifts plural ) A stick shift is the lever that you use to change gear in a car or other vehicle.
in BRIT, usually use gear lever