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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [drift]

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drift

DRIFT, n.

1. That which is driven by wind or water, as drift seems to be primarily a participle. Hence,

2. A heap of any matter driven together; as a drift of snow, called also a snow-drift; a drift of sand.

3. A driving; a force impelling or urging forward; impulse; overbearing power or influence; as the drift of a passion.

4. Course of any thing; tendency; aim; main force; as the drift of reasoning or argument; the drift of a discourse.

5. Any thing driven by force, as a drift of dust; a log or a raft driven by a stream of water, without guidance.

6. A shower; a number of things driven at once; as a drift of bullets.

7. In mining, a passage cut between shaft and shaft; a passage within the earth.

8. In navigation, the angle which the line of a ships motion makes with the nearest meridian, when she drives with her side to the wind and waves, and is not governed by the helm. Also, the distance which the ship drives on that line.

9. The drift of a current, is its angle and velocity.

DRIFT, v.i.

1. To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts.

2. To float or be driven along by a current of water; as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore.

DRIFT, v.t. To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [drift]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

DRIFT, n.

1. That which is driven by wind or water, as drift seems to be primarily a participle. Hence,

2. A heap of any matter driven together; as a drift of snow, called also a snow-drift; a drift of sand.

3. A driving; a force impelling or urging forward; impulse; overbearing power or influence; as the drift of a passion.

4. Course of any thing; tendency; aim; main force; as the drift of reasoning or argument; the drift of a discourse.

5. Any thing driven by force, as a drift of dust; a log or a raft driven by a stream of water, without guidance.

6. A shower; a number of things driven at once; as a drift of bullets.

7. In mining, a passage cut between shaft and shaft; a passage within the earth.

8. In navigation, the angle which the line of a ships motion makes with the nearest meridian, when she drives with her side to the wind and waves, and is not governed by the helm. Also, the distance which the ship drives on that line.

9. The drift of a current, is its angle and velocity.

DRIFT, v.i.

1. To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts.

2. To float or be driven along by a current of water; as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore.

DRIFT, v.t. To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.


DRIFT, n.1 [Dan. drift; from drive.]

  1. That which is driven by wind or water, as drift seems to be primarily a participle. Hence,
  2. A heap of any matter driven together; as, a drift of snow, called also a snow-drift; a drift of sand.
  3. A driving; a force impelling or urging forward; impulse; overbearing power or influence; as, the drift of a passion.
  4. Course of any thing; tendency; aim; main force; as, the drift of reasoning or argument; the drift of a discourse.
  5. Any thing driven by force, as, a drift of dust; a log or a raft driven by a stream of water, without guidance. – Dryden.
  6. A shower; a number of things driven at once; as, a drift of bullets. – Shak.
  7. In mining, a passage cut between shaft and shaft; a passage within the earth. – Encyc. Fourcroy.
  8. In navigation, the angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the nearest meridian, when she drives with her side to the wind and waves, and is not governed by the helm. Also, the distance which the ship drives on that line. – Encyc.
  9. The drift of a current, is its angle and velocity. – Mar. Dict.

DRIFT, n.2

In geology, a term applied to the loose unstratified materials, accumulated on the earth's surface; also called diluvium.


DRIFT, v.i.

  1. To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts.
  2. To float or be driven along by a current of water; as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore.

DRIFT, v.t.

To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.


Drift
  1. A driving] a violent movement.

    The dragon drew him [self] away with drift of his wings. King Alisaunder (1332).

  2. To float or be driven along by, or as by, a current of water or air] as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore; the balloon drifts slowly east.

    We drifted o'er the harbor bar. Coleridge.

  3. To drive or carry, as currents do a floating body.

    J. H. Newman.
  4. That causes drifting or that is drifted; movable by wind or currents; as, drift currents; drift ice; drift mud.

    Kane.

    Drift anchor. See Sea anchor, and also Drag sail, under Drag, n. - - Drift epoch (Geol.), the glacial epoch. -- Drift net, a kind of fishing net. -- Drift sail. Same as Drag sail. See under Drag, n.

  5. One of the slower movements of oceanic circulation; a general tendency of the water, subject to occasional or frequent diversion or reversal by the wind; as, the easterly drift of the North Pacific.
  6. The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse.

    A bad man, being under the drift of any passion, will follow the impulse of it till something interpose. South.

  7. To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts.
  8. To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.
  9. The horizontal component of the pressure of the air on the sustaining surfaces of a flying machine. The lift is the corresponding vertical component, which sustains the machine in the air.
  10. Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.

    "Our drift was south." Hakluyt.
  11. to make a drift; to examine a vein or ledge for the purpose of ascertaining the presence of metals or ores; to follow a vein; to prospect.

    [U.S.]
  12. To enlarge or shape, as a hole, with a drift.
  13. The tendency of an act, argument, course of conduct, or the like; object aimed at or intended; intention; hence, also, import or meaning of a sentence or discourse; aim.

    He has made the drift of the whole poem a compliment on his country in general. Addison.

    Now thou knowest my drift. Sir W. Scott.

  14. That which is driven, forced, or urged along

    ; as: (a)
  15. The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments.

    [R.] Knight.
  16. A collection of loose earth and rocks, or boulders, which have been distributed over large portions of the earth's surface, especially in latitudes north of forty degrees, by the agency of ice.
  17. In South Africa, a ford in a river.
  18. A slightly tapered tool of steel for enlarging or shaping a hole in metal, by being forced or driven into or through it; a broach.
  19. A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework.

    (b)
  20. A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel.
  21. The distance through which a current flows in a given time.

    (b)
  22. The difference between the size of a bolt and the hole into which it is driven, or between the circumference of a hoop and that of the mast on which it is to be driven.

    * Drift is used also either adjectively or as the first part of a compound. See Drift, a.

    Drift of the forest (O. Eng. Law), an examination or view of the cattle in a forest, in order to see whose they are, whether they are commonable, and to determine whether or not the forest is surcharged. Burrill.

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

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Drift

DRIFT, noun

1. That which is driven by wind or water, as drift seems to be primarily a participle. Hence,

2. A heap of any matter driven together; as a drift of snow, called also a snow-drift; a drift of sand.

3. A driving; a force impelling or urging forward; impulse; overbearing power or influence; as the drift of a passion.

4. Course of any thing; tendency; aim; main force; as the drift of reasoning or argument; the drift of a discourse.

5. Any thing driven by force, as a drift of dust; a log or a raft driven by a stream of water, without guidance.

6. A shower; a number of things driven at once; as a drift of bullets.

7. In mining, a passage cut between shaft and shaft; a passage within the earth.

8. In navigation, the angle which the line of a ships motion makes with the nearest meridian, when she drives with her side to the wind and waves, and is not governed by the helm. Also, the distance which the ship drives on that line.

9. The drift of a current, is its angle and velocity.

DRIFT, verb intransitive

1. To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; to be driven into heaps; as, snow or sand drifts.

2. To float or be driven along by a current of water; as, the ship drifted astern; a raft drifted ashore.

DRIFT, verb transitive To drive into heaps; as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.

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Bible study.

— Dale Roberts (Austin, IN)

Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

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lobed

LO'BED, a. [from lobe.] Consisting of lobes. In botany, divided to the middle into parts distant from each other, with convex margins.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

First dictionary of the American Language!

Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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