drift
noun.
a force that moves something along
Synonym: impulsion, impetus
noun.
the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane)
noun.
a process of linguistic change over a period of time
noun.
a large mass of material that is heaped up by the wind or by water currents
noun.
a general tendency to change (as of opinion)
not openly liberal but that is the trend of the book|a broad movement of the electorate to the right
Synonym: movement, trend
noun.
the pervading meaning or tenor
caught the general drift of the conversation
Synonym: purport
noun.
a horizontal (or nearly horizontal) passageway in a mine
they dug a drift parallel with the vein
Synonym: gallery, heading
verb.
be in motion due to some air or water current
The leaves were blowing in the wind|the boat drifted on the lake|The sailboat was adrift on the open sea|the shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore
Synonym: float, blow, be adrift
verb.
wander from a direct course or at random
The child strayed from the path and her parents lost sight of her|don't drift from the set course
Synonym: err, stray
verb.
move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment
The gypsies roamed the woods|roving vagabonds|the wandering Jew|The cattle roam across the prairie|the laborers drift from one town to the next|They rolled from town to town
verb.
vary or move from a fixed point or course
stock prices are drifting higher
verb.
live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely
My son drifted around for years in California before going to law school
Synonym: freewheel
verb.
move in an unhurried fashion
The unknown young man drifted among the invited guests
verb.
cause to be carried by a current
drift the boats downstream
verb.
drive slowly and far afield for grazing
drift the cattle herds westwards
verb.
be subject to fluctuation
The stock market drifted upward
verb.
be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of wind or a current
snow drifting several feet high|sand drifting like snow