set adrift

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set adrift

1. Literally, to cause a vessel or its crew to float on a body of water without control or anchorage. (In each usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "set" and "adrift.") The team was set adrift in the Atlantic for 17 days before a rescue party found them. Our best bet is to set the boat adrift and hope the current carries us to shore.
2. By extension, to cause or allow someone or some group to be or progress without direction or restraint. Often used in passive constructions. When I arrived in the country, I found myself set adrift in a city I didn't know, among people whose language I couldn't speak. With my inheritance money, I was set adrift to pursue whatever life I fancied.
3. To dissociate from or no longer support someone or something. I think it's about time that we set adrift the more extreme factions of this political party. Sarah's parents set her adrift after they found drugs in her room.
See also: adrift, set
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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