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

drift along

To move along with little effort or direction. We just drifted along on an inflatable raft until we reached the other end of the river. I'm worried because you're just drifting along through high school with no interest in planning your future!
See also: drift

drift apart

1. To move away from something slowly, especially while floating on water. I guess the inner tubes drifted apart because they're now scattered across the pool.
2. To gradually become distant from someone after a period of closeness. Andrea and I never had a big fight or anything; we just drifted apart over the years, and now, I hardly ever see her.
See also: apart, drift

drift away

1. To move away from something slowly, especially while floating on water. I guess the inner tubes all drifted away from each other because they're now scattered across the pool.
2. To gradually become distant from someone after a period of closeness. Andrea and I never had a big fight or anything; we just drifted away from each other over the years, and now, I hardly ever see her.
See also: away, drift

drift back

To move toward someone or something slowly, especially while floating on water. The inner tubes were all scattered across the pool, but now, they're drifting back to the steps.
See also: back, drift

drift in(to) (something)

To move slowly into some thing or place. Whenever they have study hall, the students tend to just drift into the attendance office, as if they have nothing better to do.
See also: drift

drift off

1. To move slowly away from someone or something, especially while propelled by wind or water. I held the feather in my palm until it drifted off into the air.
2. To gradually fall sleep. I really do want to watch this movie with you, but I'm so tired that I keep drifting off.
3. To lose interest and stop paying attention to someone or something. I think you need to add some humor to this speech so that your audience doesn't drift off while you're talking.
4. To slowly leave one place or thing to go to another. We all had a hard time saying good-bye to each other, but eventually, we all drifted off to our cars.
See also: drift, off

drift off to sleep

To gradually fall sleep. I really do want to watch this movie with you, but I'm so tired that I keep drifting off to sleep.
See also: drift, off, sleep

drift out

To slowly leave one place or thing. Because it was a rainy Monday morning, the students just drifted out of the room after the bell rang.
See also: drift, out

drift toward (someone or something)

To slowly move closer to someone or something. I had to wait for the inner tube to drift toward the steps of the pool before I could climb onto it.
See also: drift, toward

drift with (something)

1. Literally, to move slowly while propelled by something (such as wind or water). It's more relaxing to just let the boat drift with the waves.
2. To allow oneself to be pulled along with others' decisions or feelings. When will you stop being such a follower, drifting with all of your friends' stupid ideas? That senator always drifts with his party, so I doubt he'll oppose them in this vote.
See also: drift

drift with the tide

To passively agree with others. He always just drifts with the tide and does whatever dumb thing his friends are doing, no questions asked. That senator always drifts with the tide, so I doubt he'll oppose his party in this vote.
See also: drift, tide

get (one'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 get my drift. A: "I want him 'taken care of'—he's become too much of a liability." B: "I think I get your drift."
See also: drift, get

get 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 get 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 got the drift of what he was saying.
See also: drift, get

(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

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).
That's a shame because songs such as We Can Be Strong emerge somewhere in unplugged laidback Layla territory, despite a great guest vocal by Roseanne Cash, and drifty I Can't Sleep is a poor man's Nick Drake.
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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.