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  Dictionary Definition of shift

verb (i)
1. to move from one place, position, etc., to another.
2. to manage to get along or succeed.
3. to get along by indirect methods; employ shifts or evasions.
4. to change gear in driving a motor vehicle.
5. Linguistics to undergo a systematic phonetic change.
6. to travel at great speed: the car was really shifting.
7. Archaic. to change one's clothes.
-- verb (t)
8. to put by and replace by another or others; change.
9. to transfer from one place, position, person, etc., to another: to shift the blame on someone else.
-- noun
10. a shifting from one place, position, person, etc., to another; a transfer.
11. the portion of the day scheduled as a day's work when a factory, etc., operates continuously during the 24 hours, or works both day and night: night shift.
12. a group of workers so employed.
13. Mining a fault, or the dislocation of a seam or stratum.
14. Music a change in position either of the player's hand or of part of the instrument to achieve a different pitch range.
15. Linguistics a change, or system of parallel changes, which seriously affects the phonetic or phonemic structure of the language, as the change in English vowels from Middle English to Modern English.
16. an expedient; ingenious device.
17. an evasion, artifice, or trick.
18. change or substitution.
19. a. a woman's loose-fitting dress. b. Archaic. a woman's chemise or undergarment.
20. Motor Vehicles gearstick.
-- phrase
21. make shift, a. to manage to get along or succeed. b. to manage with effort or difficulty. c. to do one's best (fol. by with ).
22. shift house, to move to a new place of residence.
[ME; OE sciftan, c. G schichten arrange]
-- shifter, noun