shift Definition

  • 1to move or cause something to move from one position or direction to another
  • 2a period of work in a particular place, usually lasting for several hours at a time
  • 3a slight change in position, direction, or tendency

Using shift: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "shift" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She shifted her weight from one foot to the other.

  • Example

    He shifted the furniture around to make more space.

  • Example

    I'm working the night shift this week.

  • Example

    The company is going through a shift in management.

  • Example

    There has been a shift in public opinion on the issue.

shift Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using shift

  • to use whatever is available as a temporary solution


    They didn't have a ladder, so they had to make shift with a stack of boxes.

  • to start working harder or more efficiently


    With the deadline approaching, we need to shift into high gear and get this project done.

  • to avoid taking responsibility by blaming someone else


    He tried to shift the blame onto his assistant, but everyone knew it was his mistake.

Phrases with shift

  • shift gears

    to change one's focus or approach


    After the failure of their first plan, they decided to shift gears and try a different strategy.

  • a work shift that runs through the late night and early morning hours


    He works the graveyard shift at the hospital, so he sleeps during the day.

  • to take care of oneself without help from others


    After moving out of his parents' house, he had to learn how to shift for himself.

Origins of shift

from Old English 'sciftan', meaning 'to divide, arrange'


Summary: shift in Brief

The term 'shift' [ʃɪft] refers to movement or change, either physical or abstract. It can be used as a verb or a noun, such as 'She shifted her weight' or 'I'm working the night shift'. 'Shift' also extends into phrases like 'graveyard shift,' and idioms like 'shift into high gear,' denoting increased effort, and 'shift the blame,' implying avoidance of responsibility.

How do native speakers use this expression?