drift

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catch (someone's) drift

To understand the meaning, insinuation, or implication of what someone is saying. All I'm saying is that I won't be very sad if she breaks up with her boyfriend, if you catch my drift. A: "I want him 'taken care of'—he's become too much of a liability." B: "I think I catch your drift."
See also: catch, drift

catch the drift

To understand the general meaning of some situation or piece of information. Since I don't have time at work to read news articles in full, I usually just read their blurbs online to catch the drift of what's going on in the world. I was so tired that I couldn't focus on the boss's speech during the meeting, but I think I caught the drift of what he was saying.
See also: catch, drift

(Do you) get my drift?

Do you understand what I mean?; Do you understand what I am getting at? Father: I want you to settle down and start studying. Get my drift? Bob: Sure, Pop. Whatever you say. Mary: Get out of my way and stop following me around. Do you get my drift? John: I guess so.
See also: get

drift along

to float along; to be carried along on no particular course. The boat just drifted along lazily with the current. The project drifted along until we received the leadership we needed.
See also: drift

drift apart

 (from each other )
1. . Lit. [for floating things] to separate as they drift. The boats drifted apart from one another. The boats drifted apart in the waves.
2. Fig. [for people] to lead their lives without contact with each other having been together or friendly. He drifted apart from his friends. As the years went by, they drifted apart.
See also: apart, drift

drift away

(from someone ) Fig. [for someone] to begin to be less of a friend and more like a stranger. (See also drift away (from someone or something).) He began drifting away from me a few months ago, andlhaven'tseenhim at all in the last three weeks.
See also: away, drift

drift away

(from someone or something ) [for floating people, animals, or things] to move away from a particular person or thing, on the surface of water. (See also .) We watched the boat drift away from us. He was drifting away on the ice block and there was nothing we could do.
See also: away, drift

drift back (to someone or something)

to move back to someone or something slowly, on the surface of water. The canoe drifted back to shore. My little boat finally drifted back to me.
See also: back, drift

drift back (to someone or something)

to move back to someone or something slowly, on the surface of water. The canoe drifted back to shore. My little boat finally drifted back to me.
See also: back, drift

drift in

(to something) to move slowly and gradually into something. The people drifted slowly into the hall. The boats drifted into the shore on the tide.
See also: drift

drift off

to move slowly away. The boat slowly drifted off and was gone. The clouds drifted off and the sun came out.
See also: drift, off

drift off to sleep

Fig. to fall asleep gradually. At last, he drifted off to sleep. During that boring lecture, I drifted off to sleep a number of times.
See also: drift, off, sleep

drift out

to move out of a place slowly. After there was no more food, the people drifted out, one by one. The boat drifted out and almost got away.
See also: drift, out

drift toward someone or something

to move slowly and gradually toward someone or something. The clouds drifted toward us, and we could see that a storm was coming. As the clouds drifted toward us, we could feel the humidity increase.
See also: drift, toward

drift with something

 
1. . Lit. to float along with something; to be carried along at the same rate as something. He paddled the canoe into the center of the stream and let it drift with the current.
2. Fig. to "move along" passively with events and ideas. He is not very decisive and is as likely as not to drift with the tide of sentiment.
See also: drift

get someone's drift

Fig. to understand what someone is saying or implying. (Akin to if you get my drift.) I don't want to hear anymore about her or you. Do you get my drift?
See also: drift, get

get the drift of something

Fig. to understand the general idea of something. I knew enough German to get the drift of this article. I don't get the drift of what you're trying to tell me.
See also: drift, get, of

if you get my drift

Fig. if you understand what I am saying or implying. (Akin to get someone's drift.) I've heard enough talk and seen enough inaction—if you get my drift.
See also: drift, get, if

*off course

 
1. Lit. not going in the right direction. (*Typically: be ~; drift ~; get ~.) The ship is off course and may strike the reef!
2. Fig. not following the plan correctly. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) The project is off course and won't be finished on time. l am off course and doing poorly.
See also: course, off

off course

not moving forward as wanted or expected The opinion polls show that voters think the government has gone off course.
Opposite of: on course
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of a ship or spacecraft going in the wrong direction
See also: course, off

get the drift

also catch the drift
to understand in a general way what someone is telling you I usually read the first page of a report just to get the drift.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form get someone's drift: She said something about going home, but Len didn't get her drift at the time.
See also: drift, get

drift with the tide

to agree with other people without thinking about things for yourself and making your own decisions We are looking for someone with the ability to lead rather than just drift with the tide.
See also: drift, tide

get somebody's/the drift

  (informal) also catch somebody's/the drift (informal)
to understand what someone is saying Can you explain that again? I don't quite get your drift. I didn't understand everything he was saying but I think I caught the drift. (informal)
See also: drift, get

get the drift

Also, catch the drift. Understand the general meaning or purport. For example, I didn't get the drift-do they want to go or not? or Over all the noise he barely managed to catch the drift of their conversation. The noun drift has been used for "purport" since the early 1500s.
See also: drift, get

drift off

v.
1. To move away slowly, especially while being carried by currents of air or water: The stick drifted off with the river current. The child let go of the balloon and it drifted off toward the horizon.
2. To walk slowly toward some other place or area: As they left the cafeteria, the students started drifting off toward the gym.
3. To fall asleep gradually: I drifted off while watching television. I was so tired that I drifted off.
4. To stop listening or paying attention to someone or something: The professor noted that most of the students had drifted off during the lecture.
See also: drift, off

(Do you) get my drift?

interrog. Do you understand me? Get my drift? Should I explain it again?
See also: get

get my drift?

verb
See also: get

off course

Away from the planned or intended course.
See also: course, off
References in periodicals archive ?
Supported by a plinky, staccato piano introduction, a drifty oceanic guitar and a beautiful, if repetitive, chorus, Ashcroft's voice lilts on the cusp this track in a desperate plea (possibly for a few more lyrics).
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The new album is no exception with a dozen drifty ditties that prove pleasant but leave no lasting impression whatsoever.
Unless you enjoy carnage, stay out of the reach of Kirk Whalum's drifty new release.
Although opener Image Of The Invisible - ushered in by Morse code - boasts a mainstream hook, Music Box suggests a love of both Linkin Park and Rush-style prog-rock, and Atlantic is all drifty keyboards and acoustic strum.