get the 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

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

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