Pronunciation: (shift),[key] —v.t. 1. to put (something) aside and replace it by another or others; change or exchange: to shift friends; to shift ideas. 2. to transfer from one place, position, person, etc., to another: to shift the blame onto someone else. 3. Auto.to change (gears) from one ratio or arrangement to another.
4. Ling.to change in a systematic way, esp. phonetically.
5. shift gears. See gear (def. 11).
—v.i. 1. to move from one place, position, direction, etc., to another.
2. to manage to get along or succeed by oneself.
3. to get along by indirect methods; use any expediency, trick, or evasion to get along or succeed: He shifted through life. 4. to change gears in driving an automobile.
5. Ling.to undergo a systematic, esp. phonetic, change.
6. to press a shift key, as on a typewriter keyboard.
7. Archaic.to change one's clothes.
—n. 1. a change or transfer from one place, position, direction, person, etc., to another: a shift in the wind. 2. a person's scheduled period of work, esp. the portion of the day scheduled as a day's work when a shop, service, office, or industry operates continuously during both the day and night: She prefers the morning shift. 3. a group of workers scheduled to work during such a period: The night shift reported. 4. Baseball.a notable repositioning by several fielders to the left or the right of their normal playing position, an occasional strategy against batters who usually hit the ball to the same side of the field.
5. Auto.a gearshift.
6. Clothing. a. a straight, loose-fitting dress worn with or without a belt.
b. a woman's chemise or slip.
7. Football.a lateral or backward movement from one position to another, usually by two or more offensive players just before the ball is put into play.
8. Mining.a dislocation of a seam or stratum; fault.
9. Music.a change in the position of the left hand on the fingerboard in playing a stringed instrument.
10. Ling. a. a change or system of parallel changes that affects the sound structure of a language, as the series of related changes in the English vowel system from Middle English to Modern English.
b. a change in the meaning or use of a word. Cf. functional shift. 11. an expedient; ingenious device.
12. an evasion, artifice, or trick.
13. change or substitution.
14. Bridge.See shift bid. 15. Agric.(in crop rotation)
a. any of successive crops.
b. the tract of land used.
16. an act or instance of using the shift key, as on a typewriter keyboard.