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Drift   /drɪft/   Listen
Drift

verb
(past & past part. drifted; pres. part. drifting)
1.
Be in motion due to some air or water current.  Synonyms: be adrift, blow, float.  "The boat drifted on the lake" , "The sailboat was adrift on the open sea" , "The shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore"
2.
Wander from a direct course or at random.  Synonyms: err, stray.  "Don't drift from the set course"
3.
Move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment.  Synonyms: cast, ramble, range, roam, roll, rove, stray, swan, tramp, vagabond, wander.  "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"
4.
Vary or move from a fixed point or course.
5.
Live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely.  Synonym: freewheel.
6.
Move in an unhurried fashion.
7.
Cause to be carried by a current.
8.
Drive slowly and far afield for grazing.
9.
Be subject to fluctuation.
10.
Be piled up in banks or heaps by the force of wind or a current.  "Sand drifting like snow"



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"Drift" Quotes from Famous Books



... together and took a chance on saying what I did. Now that you know the whole story you can easily see why I am anxious to have the 'Merry Maid' anchored as far from me as possible. If you will cut the rope of the houseboat and let the silly old craft drift away somewhere, the girls will be so busy with getting it back here that by the time they have done that their vacation will be over, and in the hurry of packing they won't have much chance to make a scene. I think ...
— Madge Morton's Secret • Amy D. V. Chalmers

... "I get your drift again, Sandy. I wouldn't be used to such grand people as the patriarchs and prophets, and I would be sheepish and tongue-tied in their company, and mighty glad to get out of it. Sandy, which is the highest ...
— Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven • Mark Twain

... in motion] Wind — N. wind, draught, flatus, afflatus, efflation^, eluvium^; air; breath, breath of air; puff, whiff, zephyr; blow, breeze, drift; aura; stream, current, jet stream; undercurrent. gust, blast, squall, gale, half a gale, storm, tempest, hurricane, whirlwind, tornado, samiel, cyclone, anticyclone, typhoon; simoon^, simoom; harmattan^, monsoon, trade wind, sirocco, mistral, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... into place with a will, and thought, this is the life for me. Emboldened by his question I opened my mind in a roundabout way as to helping him all summer on the farm. He saw my drift at once and told me he could not hire me, nor any other boy; he must have a man if anybody, and that I must stick to ...
— Confessions of Boyhood • John Albee

... detect or invent mercurial Asian subterfuge as swiftly as appraise the rather glacial drift of Western thought; and the wisdom of both East and West combines in her to teach a very nearly total incredulity in human virtue. Western morals she regards as humbug, neither ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... describe the effect of so instantaneous a change upon us. The boats were allowed to drift along at pleasure, and such was the force with which we had been shot out of the Morumbidgee, that we were carried nearly to the bank opposite its embouchure, whilst we continued to gaze in silent astonishment on the capacious channel we had entered; and when ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... trunks of the mangroves. It is doubtless whilst the sun heats the humid wood, and causes the fermentation, as it were, of the ground, of the remains of dead leaves and of the molluscs enveloped in the drift of floating seaweed, that those deleterious gases are formed, which escape our researches. We observed that the sea-water, along the whole coast, acquired a yellowish brown tint, wherever it came into contact ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... that I took upon myself a great responsibility in deciding this question. Perhaps, without the counsel of my brother, I should not have dared to proceed as I did. Bad as the consequences threatened to be, I did not regret that I had permitted the log to drift ashore. ...
— Down The River - Buck Bradford and His Tyrants • Oliver Optic

... carrying what sail he could on the starboard tack, in order, if possible, to clear the Horn Reef: although the clearing of the reef might be doubtful, it was the only chance left, and would at least have given him a longer drift; but from his not doing so, I am of opinion his masts had complained and were unable to carry any more sail, as well as the rudder, which certainly wanted securing. At ten P.M. as no steps were taken by the St. George to wear, and finding from our soundings and reckoning we were ...
— Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez. Vol II • Sir John Ross

... as when borne triumphantly upon the towering crest of some conquering wave of legal finesse, or impassioned invective, and rarely saddened in the flush of victory by the pale spectres of strangled hope, fortune, or reputation which float in the debris of the wrecks that almost every day drift mournfully away from the precincts of ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... called 'The Death of Aaron.' Church dark; women not admitted; bell rings and a priest before the altar chants a prayer, after which a boy, about twelve years old apparently, addresses the assembly from the pulpit. I know not the drift of his discourse, but his utterance was like the same gurgling process which I noticed in the orator who addressed the Pope. It was precisely like the fitful tone ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Samuel F. B. Morse

... the intestinal wall, suck the blood of the host and cause anaemia and debility. Colic resulting from circulatory disturbances is not common. The female of a certain species of strongulus deposits eggs in the mucous membrane. On hatching, the larvae may enter a blood capillary, drift along in the blood stream and finally come to rest in a large blood-vessel that supplies a certain portion of the intestines with blood. Here the parasite develops. The wall of the vessel becomes irritated and inflamed, pieces of fibrin flake off and drift along the blood stream until finally ...
— Common Diseases of Farm Animals • R. A. Craig, D. V. M.

... to me: to let her drift, consuming my oil, in the hope that it would blow over; to run into a Spanish port; or to run for France, my destination, and, if I fell short of it, to yell for help by radio, and trust to luck that they ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... said she, not perceiving his exact drift. 'You are vexed now because it is not Molly he's in love with; and I call it very unjust and unfair to my poor fatherless girl. I am sure I have always tried to further Molly's interests as if ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... sunny, unselfish ways. She had set a fashion of doing little kind, considerate, helpful things, which many of the rest began unconsciously to follow. There are always a large number of girls in a school who drift along without any special aim, yet are ready enough to respond to anyone who draws out the best that is in them. If one companion succeeds in avoiding little evils and inconsistencies, keeping her temper, and showing forbearance and self-restraint ...
— The Nicest Girl in the School - A Story of School Life • Angela Brazil

... your words," said the cattleman, "but from the drift of your tune I gather you're a bit peeved; and if ...
— The Night Horseman • Max Brand

... all, for at every ten or twenty paces was a dense tuft of willow bushes, growing for the most part upon the higher knolls where it was dry and sunny, their roots heaped round with drift wood, from the decay of which had shot up a dense tangled growth of cat-briers. In these the birds were lying, all but some five or six which had run out to feed, and were flushed, fat and large, and lazy, quite in ...
— Warwick Woodlands - Things as they Were There Twenty Years Ago • Henry William Herbert (AKA Frank Forester)

... plight, crowded together in the corner of the ruined hut, and snow as well as "light" came in "through the chinks that time had made." Owing to a change in the wind, the smoke of the fire outside drifted in; and there was evidence of a worse drift—that of the snow, which before nightfall I daresay may have buried the cottage ...
— Round About the Carpathians • Andrew F. Crosse

... had a momentary glimpse of Kitchell, hacking at the lanyards with his axe. Then the "Lady Letty" capsized, going over till her masts were flat with the water, and in another second rolled bottom up. For a moment her keel and red iron bottom were visible through the mist of driving spoon-drift. Suddenly they sank ...
— Moran of the Lady Letty • Frank Norris

... gone down with them, they were tossing about among the rocks and seaweed, so much human drift on the great ocean of Death! And we four were saved. But one day a sunrise will come when we shall be among those who are lost, and then others will watch those glorious rays, and grow sad in the midst of beauty, and dream of Death in the full glow ...
— She • H. Rider Haggard

... reached a comfortable camp that bore signs of long occupancy. It stood high on a cut bank, and just below it a rude boom held a miscellaneous assortment of logs, lumber, and odd wreckage, all of it evidently collected from the stray drift of the great river. ...
— Raftmates - A Story of the Great River • Kirk Munroe

... fellow-colonists, as is well remarked by the Edinburgh Review for July, 1862: "Australian occupation has kept close on the heels of Australian discovery.") Bones of this animal have also been found in a newer tertiary formation in New South Wales. Mr. Waterhouse considers that a great tertiary drift extends over this part of the country, obscuring and concealing at no great depth below the surface many springs, which may hereafter be discovered as the country ...
— Explorations in Australia, The Journals of John McDouall Stuart • John McDouall Stuart

... resolve and great, And until Death fidelity! Whose horse is waiting at your gate? Whose 'rickshaw-wheels ride over me? No Saint's, I swear; and—let me see Tonight what names your programme fill— We drift asunder merrily, As drifts the mist ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... of Farewell— When life's loved country fades, and hope is lorn, Is it not fair from that dim, tideless bourn To drift back home to man's own star and dwell Fondly with time, in tune with bud and bell, With midnight's shimmer of stars and the sheen ...
— Iolaeus - The man that was a ghost • James A. Mackereth

... burro follow after Noddy, but he was fractious and would not go near the cliff. He made a detour, however, about a small group of trees and just as he came opposite them, something upon the snow-drift at the base of the largest tree, caused ...
— Polly of Pebbly Pit • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... have worked like a negro for you Allcraft, and this is the return you make me. I get your drift; do not attempt to disguise it—it is ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... there had been no advent of the hated "woollies" as they were sometimes called. But the boy ranchers and their friends did not relax their vigilance. The sheep and their human owners might drift in across the creek at any hour, day or night, so a ...
— The Boy Ranchers at Spur Creek - or Fighting the Sheep Herders • Willard F. Baker

... in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children. The water, touched to gold by the early sun, the brooding mists under the banks at some distance down the stream, the fort, the soldiers, the piece of drift—all had distracted him. And now he became conscious of a new disturbance. Striking through the thought of his dear ones was a sound which he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. II: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians • Ambrose Bierce

... especially ought we to go forward in developing co-operation, on a basis of equality and partnership, with the great self-governing communities of our race in the distant portions of the world, else they will drift away from us. Do not let us think for a moment that we can afford such another fiasco as the late Colonial Conference. Do not let us imagine for a moment that we can go to sleep over the questions ...
— Constructive Imperialism • Viscount Milner

... the case, but I suppressed my opinion and made no remarks. We next came to a cask of salt provisions, washed high and dry at least twenty feet above the usual high-water mark: the sea had evidently not been near this for a long period as it was half covered with drift sand which must have taken some time to accumulate. This Coles easily accounted for, it was merely the cask which had been lost from the wreck of the Paul Pry. I still thought ...
— Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2) • George Grey

... flock of pigeons sways and wheels in the sky, drops to the roofs, settles with a clatter, sails up into the sky again. Black-headed gulls, in their winter suits of dove-colour and white, walk about the muddy edge of the rising tide, drift on the stream like torn paper, soar and hang in the wind above the bridge, peering this way and that for the fish and bread the Londoners give them; or late in the afternoon wing quiet journeys into unknown spaces of western light. Beyond the bridge the lights dot orange sparks in the ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... of the subject of the discussion; and as sentence after sentence passes him, he can relate it to the topic, and the thought is a cumulative whole. If the subject be not announced, the individual sentences must be held in mind until the reader catches the drift of the discussion, or the author at ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... must go on and force himself to be happy. Coercion is a kind of encouragement; and anarchy (or what some call liberty) is essentially oppressive, because it is essentially discouraging. If we all floated in the air like bubbles, free to drift anywhere at any instant, the practical result would be that no one would have the courage to begin a conversation. It would be so embarrassing to start a sentence in a friendly whisper, and then have to shout the last half of it because the other party was floating away into the free and ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... to preserve old Boer traditions upon perfectly constitutional lines. President Brand and some others then already suspected more, as the following incident will show. In 1883 President Brand officially opened the new wagon-road bridge over the Caledon River at Commissie drift, near Smithfield, Orange Free State. Towards the conclusion of the ceremony, one of the other speakers, Mr. Advocate Peeters, member of the Volksraad for Smithfield district, in the course of his speech formally suggested that President ...
— Origin of the Anglo-Boer War Revealed (2nd ed.) - The Conspiracy of the 19th Century Unmasked • C. H. Thomas

... and finally at home there, after their Fiji disaster, they had gone adventuring, or the canoe drift of unfortunates caught by wind and tide had brought populations to all the other Polynesian islands, and principally to Tahiti. This island in the center of Polynesia, and especially favored by nature, ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... was as gentle and low-toned and pleasant as when he had spoken with the cashier, "three days ahead of time. It won't take me a minute to get through. And if you and the young lady will excuse me I'll say my little speech and drift, giving you a free swing for your business. Besides, I'm ...
— Six Feet Four • Jackson Gregory

... been fashioned to trouble man, the knowledge merely left her indefinitely contented, save when she remembered Jim. But that he had checked her drift toward him merely excited her; for she knew she had been made to trouble such as he; and she had seen ...
— The Crimson Tide • Robert W. Chambers

... are going to call on him tonight when he cannot see to shoot. We have a message for him from our brothers whom he killed at the drift of ...
— Finished • H. Rider Haggard

... interests and strivings of mankind. That so few of us have the courage clearly to assert a position even distantly approaching this—such a position as was mere matter of course among university men in the last generation—is perhaps the most significant of all the indications of our drift ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... wonder," was the answer. "And, though we have a strong car here, we don't want to get stuck in a snow drift and have ...
— The Curlytops and Their Playmates - or Jolly Times Through the Holidays • Howard R. Garis

... were covered with spectators, assembled to behold the issue of this adventure. Having reached the river of Caen, they stood backwards and forwards upon the shoals, intending to amuse admiral Rodney till night, and then proceed under cover of the darkness. He perceived their drift, and gave directions to his small vessels to be ready, that, as soon as day-light failed, they should make all the sail they could for the mouth of the river Orne, in order to cut off the enemy's retreat, while he himself stood with the larger ships to the steep coast ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... it breaks like fire about God's feet." He had said that the soul that flashed from her pages was more intense than any soul in Shakespeare or Balzac. "They had created many, she but one incomparable soul—her own, and in surging drift of vehement aspiration, and in recession of temporal things we hear the singing of the stars, the ...
— Evelyn Innes • George Moore

... the things to avoid, none was more urgent or called for greater thought than the necessity for so timing his movements that he did not come upon Sanders or drift within the range of his visible ...
— Bones - Being Further Adventures in Mr. Commissioner Sanders' Country • Edgar Wallace

... physiological psychology is, Kant having, as it thinks, definitively demolished them. And altho some disciples speak of the transcendental ego of apperception (which they celebrate as Kant's most precious legacy to posterity) as if it were a combining agent, the drift of monistic authority is certainly in the direction of treating it as only an all-witness, whose field of vision we finite witnesses do not cause, but constitute rather. We are the letters, it is the alphabet; we are the features, it is the face; not indeed as if either alphabet ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... I dread something," Hermione said. "I feel as if—no, I don't know what I feel. But if Vere should ever drift away from me I don't know how I could bear it. A boy—one expects him to go out into the world. But a girl! I want to keep Vere. I must keep Vere. If anything else were to be taken from me I don't think I could ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... attracted now to one point and now to another on the same horizontal plane. The general mass of it swerves now to the right and now to the left in its general ascending course, though none may be actually expelled. This description of the drift of labor is too general even to describe all the permanent currents. Some entire groups produce only or chiefly luxurious goods, and to those there is the same drift of labor as there is to the upper subgroups of the general series. If there be a group ...
— Essentials of Economic Theory - As Applied to Modern Problems of Industry and Public Policy • John Bates Clark

... 84,000 in the rural districts. A partial explanation of the latter statistic is the moving on of farmers to still newer lands; another, the decline in the size of families; but it is attributable chiefly to the first statistic, the drift to the city—and to this the wheels contribute more than any other influence, carrying, as they do, the glamour or the opportunity of the city life daily before the eyes of ...
— The French in the Heart of America • John Finley

... old Blake malady—of that fatal apathy which seized them, like disease, when events demanded strenuous endeavour? Could the saintly fortitude he had once so envied be, when all was said, merely the outward expression of the inertia he himself had felt—of the impulse to drift with the tide, let it carry one ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... the beggars are gathering their forces just as we are gathering ours," one of the Hussars said, as they sat round a fire they had lighted with some drift-wood picked up on shore. The heat was in no way required, but the light was cheerful, and the ...
— The Dash for Khartoum - A Tale of Nile Expedition • George Alfred Henty

... no comment on a proceeding so easy to be understood. The drift of these evasions, and of this affected obscurity, is obvious enough—at least, it will appear so by the observations ...
— Letters to Sir William Windham and Mr. Pope • Lord Bolingbroke

... one mistakes not the temper and mind of this generation, we are living in an age that is not content to let perish one seed of thought or one single phase of life that can be rescued from the drift of time. We mourn the extinction of the buffalo of the plains and of the birds of the islands, [Page 13] rightly thinking that life is somewhat less rich and full without them. What of the people of the plains and of the islands of the ...
— Unwritten Literature of Hawaii - The Sacred Songs of the Hula • Nathaniel Bright Emerson

... saying that one "must draw the line somewhere, and he was the limit." Madeleine d'Ambre would not be fastidious. The brief revelation, like something seen in the flare of a match that quickly dies out, struck Vanno with pity and disgust. But a youth of this calibre was sure sooner or later to drift to Monte Carlo; and perhaps the Frenchwoman's leading strings would be ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... you drift along the shore in your canoe, sifting the night sounds and smells of the wilderness, when all harsher cries are hushed and the silence grows tense and musical, like a great stretched chord over which the wind is thrumming ...
— Wood Folk at School • William J. Long

... to the most vital question of all, the greatest of our concerns: Could there be built in the world a durable structure of security, a lasting peace for all the nations, or would we drift, as after World War I, toward another terrible disaster—a disaster which this time might be the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Harry S. Truman • Harry S. Truman

... forgotten the twenty-third psalm?' 'Forgotten the twenty-third psalm!' quo' he; an' his face lighted up in a moment frae the inside: 'The Lord's my shepherd,—an' I hae followed Him through a' the smorin' drift o' the warl', an' he'll bring me to the green pastures an' the still waters o' His summer-kingdom at the lang last. I shall not want. An' I hae wanted for naething, naething.' He had been a shepherd himsel' in's young days. And so on he gaed, wi' a kin' o' a personal commentary on the ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... anything like a story; a notion that it is not artistic, and that it is untrue to nature, to bring any novel to a definite consummation, and especially to end it happily; and a despondent tone about society, politics, and the whole drift of modern life. Judged by our fiction, we are in an ...
— Widger's Quotations of Charles D. Warner • David Widger

... went aboard the wind changed to the south-west; the "Butterfly" spread her black wings, bore away to the nor'ard, and doubled the North Foreland, where she was becalmed, and left to drift with the tide just as night was ...
— The Lifeboat • R.M. Ballantyne

... moving, so insensibly did the monster drift with the air about it. "No good coming down till we shift a ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... view, Oxford hath any thing to do. But men of nice and subtle learning, Remarkable for quick discerning, Through spectacles of critic mould, Without instruction, will behold 120 That we a method here have got To show what is, by what is not; And that our drift (parenthesis For once apart) is briefly this: Within the brain's most secret cells A certain Lord Chief-Justice dwells, Of sovereign power, whom, one and all, With common voice, we Reason call; Though, for the purposes of satire, A name, ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... sepulchres. Its dome top is smothered in a tangle of evergreens and brush. There is a low, triangular entrance, and the hollow inside is shaped like an elbow. More than one island boy has since crept back to the dark bend where Henry lay hidden on the skulls, but only a drift of damp leaves can be ...
— Heroes of the Middle West - The French • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... hanging to the side of one of those ridiculous ocean rollers out of bounds; and he thought it no wonder that he—even he—had been tossed off under the circumstances. The crew, who were not sitting on a skimming dish, as it were, had their work cut out to hold on. As he looked, he measured his drift with serious disquietude, although the preposterous idea of anybody being drowned had not as yet occurred to him. Drowned HERE! A good joke, indeed! Why, they were within hail of Sandridge, and half-a-dozen ...
— Sisters • Ada Cambridge

... torment of his heart and head. In Spain. He had forgotten the girl's name but it began with an "I." Now in the dusk he faced gnarled and glimmering boughs of fleece. The wind, fitful and chill since the sunset, speckled the grayness beneath the trees with dim white fragrant rain and stirred the drift of petals on the ground. Stillness and blossoms and the disillusion ...
— Kenny • Leona Dalrymple

... going's smooth and pleasant You will always find the throng, For the many, more's the pity, Seem to like to drift along. But the steeps that call for courage, And the task that's hard to do In the end result in glory ...
— Just Folks • Edgar A. Guest

... in a street, is like a drift of wood in a river. It chokes up the stream, and catches all the other wood that ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... slipped over the sea-weed at the mouth of the cave, and presently found themselves standing on a floor of light-coloured sand, strewn with shells and sea-drift. The sides of the cave were black and shiny with wet, and water dripped ...
— The Adventure League • Hilda T. Skae

... in the voice of the shouting street Where the smoke drift comes sifting down, And I list to the wind calls, far and sweet— They are not from the winds of the town. O I lean to the rush of the desert air And the bite of the desert sand, I feel the hunger, the thirst and despair— And the joy of the still ...
— The California Birthday Book • Various

... ash collar off his cigar. "It won't be any use then to go out to the Flying U, I suppose," he observed tentatively, his eyes keen for their changing expressions. "I may as well take the next train out, I reckon, and drift on down into Arizona and New Mexico. I know about where some real punchers range—but I thought there was no harm in looking up the pedigree of this Flying U outfit. I'm sure some obliged to you boys for heading me off." Back of his eyes there was a laugh, but Andy Green and the ...
— The Phantom Herd • B. M. Bower

... worthy." He broke into a laugh, hearty and wholesome. "I confess you made a fool of me, Brissenden. That I am hungry and you are aware of it are only ordinary phenomena, and there's no disgrace. You see, I laugh at the conventional little moralities of the herd; then you drift by, say a sharp, true word, and immediately I am the slave of ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... walked out to the thick edge of the shore-ice and launched the canoe among a whirling drift of ice-pans, we had small hope of ever seeing Fort Bourbon again. The ice had not the thickness of the spring jam, but it was sharp enough to cut our canoe, and we poled our way far oftener than we paddled. ...
— Heralds of Empire - Being the Story of One Ramsay Stanhope, Lieutenant to Pierre Radisson in the Northern Fur Trade • Agnes C. Laut

... leaders of the tory party, who proposed that, previous to every measure, they should consider the state of the nation. The design of Wharton and Somers was to raise the earl of Orford once more to the head of the admiralty; and the tories, who did not perceive their drift, hoped, in the course of the inquiry, to fix the blame of all mismanagement upon the whig ministers. A day being fixed for this examination, the house received a petition from the sheriffs and merchants of London, complaining ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... reached a crisis of restlessness and uncertainty, which warned him that he must drift and delay no longer, but make up his mind quite definitely what course he was going to take. He was not a man who could live comfortably in indecision. He hated it, indeed, as an attribute ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... wind which blows no one good," and amid the general destruction the drift-wood was a God-send to the poor people, and they caught enough to supply them with fire-wood for months. Logs, fences, boards and the contents of steamboat woodyards were swept into the current. On high points of land near the shore were collected ...
— Connor Magan's Luck and Other Stories • M. T. W.

... Epistle to Evangelus is often quoted in works on church government, as equalising, or nearly so, the office of bishop and presbyter; but the drift of the argument seems to be, to show that the site of a bishop's see, be it great or small, important or otherwise, does not affect the episcopal office. Some readers will perhaps offer an ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 53. Saturday, November 2, 1850 • Various

... frame, This oriel window opening on the sky, I see the white barques of the clouds drift by, ...
— The Coming of the Princess and Other Poems • Kate Seymour Maclean

... success. In developing as it has done, the Library in the United States of America has not been simply obeying some law of its own being; it has been following the whole stream of American development. You can call it a drift if you like; but the Library has not been simply drifting. The swimmer in a rapid stream may give up all effort and submit to be borne along by the current, or he may try to get somewhere. In so doing, he may battle with the current and achieve nothing but fatigue, ...
— A Librarian's Open Shelf • Arthur E. Bostwick

... all, an unmistakable attack made by the youthful Socrates on the paradoxes of Zeno. He perfectly understands their drift, and Zeno himself is supposed to admit this. But they appear to him, as he says in the Philebus also, to be rather truisms than paradoxes. For every one must acknowledge the obvious fact, that the body being one has many ...
— Parmenides • Plato

... always to be entrapped near the shore. At most times they keep out at sea, where the hardy fishermen make use of the drift-net. ...
— Michael Penguyne - Fisher Life on the Cornish Coast • William H. G. Kingston

... you girls are," she said. "Is it school that makes you so? If it is, I don't think I shall stay long. I like to drift along and do only what my inclination prompts me to do. I ...
— Grace Harlowe's Junior Year at High School - Or, Fast Friends in the Sororities • Jessie Graham Flower

... babies are born in a house of snow. Early in the winter Mrs. Bear finds a sheltered place where the snow will drift over her. There she goes to sleep, and the snow drifts and drifts over her until she is buried deep. You might think she would be cold, but she isn't, for the snow keeps her warm. Her breath melts a little hole up through ...
— The Burgess Animal Book for Children • Thornton W. Burgess

... from what he himself incidentally discloses in published works or letters of a later period. The facts we learn from all sources together, are but few. He served for a while on board the Vesuvius in 1808. During that year it seemed as if the United States and Great Britain were about to drift into war. Preparations of various kinds were made; and one of the things ordered was the dispatch to Lake Ontario of a party, of which Cooper was one, under the command of Lieutenant Woolsey. The intention was to build a brig of sixteen ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... of the earth, so wondrous wroth with thee, seeing that he soweth for thee the seeds of many evils? Yet shall he not make a full end of thee, for all his desire. But do even as I tell thee, and methinks thou art not witless. Cast off these garments, and leave the raft to drift before the winds, but do thou swim with thine hands and strive to win a footing on the coast {*} of the Phaeacians, where it is decreed that thou escape. Here, take this veil imperishable and wind it about thy breast; so is there no fear that thou suffer aught or perish. But ...
— DONE INTO ENGLISH PROSE • S. H. BUTCHER, M.A.

... house of privity Of that ancient family. On those two places clear of snow There have sat in the night for an hour or so, Before sunrise, and after cock-crow (He hicking his heels, she cursing her corns, All to the tune of the wind in their horns), The Devil and his Grannam, With the snow-drift to fan 'em; Expecting and hoping the trumpet to blow; For they are ...
— Poems of Coleridge • Coleridge, ed Arthur Symons

... the mantle of his own self-esteem, the sufferer fails to catch the drift of sentiment round him, or to put himself in touch with the opinions of others. His chair in any room is soon surrounded by vacant seats or by patient sufferers. The vice has, in fact, turned inwards, and corroded the mentality. Far better the enemies and the mistakes ...
— Success (Second Edition) • Max Aitken Beaverbrook

... a base' in clude' a larm' ex change' a maze' ad jure' a far' in flame' a brade' de pute' re mark' ob late' cru sade' re fuse' de bark' par take' de base' ma nure' em bark' ad dress' re gret' in ject' ac quit' re flex' ex cept' in vent' a drift' ar rest' ex pect' mo lest' re miss' con test' ex pend' op press' be fit' de press' ex ...
— McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book • W. H. McGuffey

... together their lulling song. That song made the wearied voyagers long to let their oars go with the waves, and drift, drift to where the Sirens were. Bending down to them the Sirens, with soft hands and white arms, would lift them to soft resting places. Then each of the Sirens sang a clear, piercing song that called to each of the voyagers. Each man thought that his own name was in that song. "O how well ...
— The Golden Fleece and the Heroes who Lived Before Achilles • Padraic Colum

... mention a small observation, made by me two or three years ago, near Southampton, but not followed out, as I have no strength for excursions. I need say nothing about the character of the drift there (which includes palaeolithic celts), for you have described its essential features in a few words at page 506. It covers the whole country [in an] even plain-like surface, almost irrespective of the present outline ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II • Francis Darwin

... and there, with boys upon them in some places, fishing, and women washing clothes in others. The boys in the boat did not call for help, and so nobody attempted to come and help them. Gerald's plan was to keep the boat headed right, and so let her drift on until she had passed through the town, in hopes of being able to bring her up somewhere on the ...
— Rollo in Geneva • Jacob Abbott

... Dacier) the Poet pays, en passant, a very natural and delicate compliment to the Pisos." The drift of the Poet is evident, but ...
— The Art Of Poetry An Epistle To The Pisos - Q. Horatii Flacci Epistola Ad Pisones, De Arte Poetica. • Horace

... the wreckage of that silent fray Strange fishes swam in circles, round and round— Black, double-finned; and once a little way A bubble rose and burst without a sound And a man tumbled out upon the ground. Lord! 'twas an eerie thing to drift apace On that pellucid sea, beneath black skies And o'er the heads of an undrowning race; And when I woke I said—to her surprise Who came with chocolate, for me to drink it: "The atmosphere is deeper than you ...
— Shapes of Clay • Ambrose Bierce

... suppose," said the Fort Commander, quietly, as he looked up and by a chance gleam of moonlight through the breaking clouds saw a dim grey, winged shape drift ...
— The World Peril of 1910 • George Griffith

... stuff, beautiful to the eyes of a skater, but sure to be weak, and likely to break up any moment and join the deliberate headlong drift of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 52, February, 1862 • Various

... moss-like plant with a golden flower. Higher up there were sheets of fire-red pinks, and on the summit an unbroken carpet of the dwarf whortleberry, with its waxen bells. Light exhalations seemed to rise from the damp hollows, and drift towards us; but they resolved themselves into swarms of mosquitoes, and would have made the hill-top untenable, had they not been dispersed by a sudden breeze. We sat down upon a rock and contemplated ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 79, May, 1864 • Various

... doth brand her bold and bad. Love ofttimes begets love, as the steel strikes fire from the cold flint, and a word from her might bring him to her feet; but she must stand with dumb lips and assumed indifference and see him drift out of her life, leaving it desolate as the Scythian desert, when it should have budded and blossomed like the great blush rose. So she drifts desolate into old maidenhood and the company of Maltese cats; else, when hope is dead in her ...
— Volume 12 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... as if she would throw her arms around his neck—and to asseverate with oaths that he would rather be hewn in pieces than either commit, or abet another in committing such an offence against the honour of his lord; when the lady, catching his drift, and forgetting all her love in a sudden frenzy of rage, cried out:—"So! unknightly knight, is it thus you flout my love? Now Heaven forbid, but, as you would be the death of me, I either do you to death or drive you from the world!" So saying, she dishevelled and tore her hair and rent her ...
— The Decameron, Volume I • Giovanni Boccaccio

... mind dreadfully. Not one word of reproach did he ever give me, and I am thankful I can help him this much. It is more of a charity to give it to him than let it drift through Miss Miller's fingers. What an ...
— The Carved Cupboard • Amy Le Feuvre

... questions on which the whole truth of their union depends. Our standards of decorum forbid,—parlor standards all. We have woven and embroidered a veil over the facts of life; an incense-clouded atmosphere blinds us; low music and murmured litanies dull the mind, but not the senses. We drift and dream. In the girl's mind floats a cloud of literary ideals. He is like a "Greek god," a "Galahad," a "Knight of old." He is in some mystic way a Hero, a Master, a Protector. She pictures herself as fulfilling exquisite ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... was," she went on. "You two were made for each other. You have so much in common. Don't drift apart altogether, just because one has expected too much, or the other been content to give too little. Jane has a great soul and a great heart. She wants to give but she doesn't quite know how. And perhaps there isn't any way. But two people whose lives seem to radiate towards each ...
— Nobody's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... was thus intercepted, at the moment that Meyer was advancing from the east, expecting to fall upon him in conjunction {p.040} with the northern column. During the night of the 19th Meyer's force crossed the Buffalo River at Landman's Drift, ten miles east of Dundee, at 2.30 A.M. drove in the British pickets in that direction, and at daybreak was seen dotting the hill-ridges, about three miles ...
— Story of the War in South Africa - 1899-1900 • Alfred T. Mahan

... openeth A Way, and Ways, and a Way, And the High Soul climbs the High Way, And the Low Soul gropes the Low, And in between, on the misty flats, The rest drift to and fro. But to every man there openeth A High Way, and a Low. And every man decideth The ...
— 'All's Well!' • John Oxenham

... far from sudden, since I do not know when I was without it, prompted me, without any particular suspicion, or other drift or view, to see what they were, and examine their persons and behaviour. The partition of our rooms was one of those moveable ones that, when taken down, served occasionally to lay them into one, for the conveniency of as larger company; and now, my nicest search ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... whose face I cannot see, I feel your presence very near tonight, I feel the warmth of you creep close to me... The grey moths drift across the candlelight, And tiny shadows sway across the floor, Like wistful elves who do a fairy dance; The wind is tapping softly at the door, And rain is beating, like a silver lance, Against the tightly curtained window pane. Oh, little ...
— Cross Roads • Margaret E. Sangster

... men stopped and turned to face the cadet, their eyes cold and unfriendly. "Why don't you space drift blast out of ...
— On the Trail of the Space Pirates • Carey Rockwell

... sound, the swell is strong; Though the wind hath fallen they drift along, Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock— 'O Christ! ...
— Grace Darling - Heroine of the Farne Islands • Eva Hope

... absence of his accustomed work seemed to leave something out of his life. It did not appear to him that he could be the same to Miss Baker now; their little habits were disarranged, their customs broken up. He could no longer fancy himself so near to her. They would drift apart now, and she would no longer make herself a cup of tea and "keep company" with him when she knew that he would never again sit before his table binding uncut pamphlets. He had sold his happiness for money; he had bartered all his tardy romance for some miserable banknotes. ...
— McTeague • Frank Norris

... air pollution in large cities; acid rain; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing ...
— The 2001 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... frightened people with their goods; the reflections in every quarter of the sky, of deep, red, soaring flames, as though the last day had come and the whole universe were burning; the dust, and smoke, and drift of fiery particles, scorching and kindling all it fell upon; the hot unwholesome vapour, the blight on everything; the stars, and moon, and very sky, obliterated;—made up such a sum of dreariness and ruin, that it seemed as if the face of Heaven were blotted out, ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... things pretty much as they came without troubling to scrutinize their import too closely. It was easy for him, then, to overlook the faint shadows than ran before coming events. It had been the most natural thing in the world to drift placidly until in more or less surprise he found himself caught fairly in a sweeping current. Some of the most important turns in his life had caught him unprepared for their denouement, left him a trifle dizzy as he found himself committed irrevocably ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... cradle. The republican Buchanan was his tutor, and he was bred in the religious school of Knox; but he shrank instinctively from Calvinism with its consecration of rebellion, its assertion of human equality, its declaration of the responsibility of kings, while he detected and hated the republican drift of the thinkers of the Renascence. In later years James denounced the chronicles of both Buchanan and Knox as "infamous invectives," and would have had their readers punished "even as it were their authors risen again." His temper and purpose were in fact simply ...
— History of the English People, Volume V (of 8) - Puritan England, 1603-1660 • John Richard Green

... here to play, to dream, to drift, We have our work to do, and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle; face it. 'Tis God's gift." "They are slaves who fear to speak, For the fallen and the weak. They are slaves who will not choose Hatred, scoffing and abuse, Rather than in silence ...
— The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy • Robert Elliott Flickinger

... were just as young as you I should enjoy it quite. Oh, dear! oh, dear! I do declare the fellow is in sight!' 'All right! all right!' a voice cried out; 'I am your own coachman, And I, to get you safe to town, have hit upon a plan. This drift is only fifty yards, and then the road is clear, This horse can take the ladies through to me it does appear; But such a man as Mr. Brown I'm sure he will not mind, But walk right bravely through the snow unless he's left behind.' 'Not so, indeed,' he did reply; ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... continued; "let us fill and do honour to the night. God has us all in his holy keeping, and we drift about in the squalls of life, pretty much as he orders the wind to blow. 'Sweethearts and wives!' and, Mr. Effingham, we will not forget beautiful, spirited, sensible, ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... seven and a half in girth, and that it weighed thirteen ounces! Each lugger carries from sixty to a hundred nets; each net is about fifteen yards long, and is floated by corks placed a few feet apart. The united nets form what is called a train fleet, or drift of nets. The depth to which they are sunk is regulated by ropes seven or eight yards long, called seizings, of which there are two to each net. They are made fast to a stout warp, running along the whole of the train, which is upwards of a mile in length, ...
— A Yacht Voyage Round England • W.H.G. Kingston

... moving eastward only a thousand miles an hour, I should constantly lag behind a point on the Earth's surface, and should not reach the midnight meridian till somewhat later. I had, moreover, to lose 500 miles of the eastward drift during the last hour in which I should be subject to it, through the action of the apergic force above-mentioned. Now, an elevation of 330 miles would give the Astronaut an orbit on which 90 deg. would represent 6500 miles. In seven hours I should be carried along that orbit ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... however, sees thro' the drift of this petition, and many persons whose names are put down as having signed it, have written to their friends at Lausanne, to declare not only that they never signed such a petition, but their entire ignorance even of the agitation of the question till they saw the petition itself in print. ...
— After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 • Major W. E Frye

... Gallagher. "She'd be dead and shtiff in tin minutes be the clock if we'd lave her be in this drift." ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... mountains was to be seen; a haze of dust, as thick as any fog, shut everything out. The sheep had all taken refuge under the high banks of the creeks. It is curious that sheep always feed head to wind in a nor'-west gale, whereas they will drift for miles before a sou'-wester. The trees bent almost flat before the hot breath of this hurricane, and although the house was built of cob, and its walls were very thick and solid, the creaking and swaying of the shingled roof kept me in perpetual alarm. The verandah ...
— Station Life in New Zealand • Lady Barker

... strange, Billy. I can't make out a theory that suits me," he mused aloud. "If any one has been riding out this way and lost it, will they perhaps return and look for it? Yet if I leave it where I found it the sand might drift over it at any time. And surely, in this sparsely settled country, I shall be able to at least hear of any strangers who might have carried such a foolish little thing. Then, too, if I leave it where I found it some one might steal it. Well, I guess we'll take it with us, Billy; we'll ...
— The Man of the Desert • Grace Livingston Hill

... cars in which it had broken out. Certain of the cars to the windward were not burnt; these lay capsized beside the track, bent and twisted, and burst athwart, fantastically like the pictures of derailed cars as Matt had seen them in the illustrated papers; the locomotive, pitched into a heavy drift, was like some dead monster that had struggled hard for its life. Where the fire had raged, there was a wide black patch in the whiteness glistening everywhere else; there were ashes, and writhen iron-work; and bits of charred wood-work; but nothing to tell who or how many had died there. ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... outspanned for the night. Two days later, trekking northward along the course of the last-mentioned river, we arrived at its junction with the Limpopo, on the farther side of which lay my goal, Mashonaland; and here we again outspanned, while Piet and I went on a prospecting tour in search of a drift by means of which the wagon might be safely ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... thought herself the luckiest woman in London, and revelled rather than otherwise in the very considerations which had appalled her in the precincts of the court. How good, after all, to be independent as well as free! How great to drift with the tide of innocent women and law-abiding men, once more one of themselves, and not even a magnet for morbid curiosity! That would come soon enough; the present was all the more to be enjoyed; and even the vagueness of the immediate future, even the lack of definite plans, had a ...
— The Shadow of the Rope • E. W. Hornung

... that much must lay before him. The past, well, that was nothing. He understood that the drift of life's stream could no longer carry him along without his own effort at guidance. He knew that somewhere beyond this dream a great battle of Life lay waiting for his participation. He felt that henceforth he was one of those struggling ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... the sale of that home, she had watched with immense gratification his success in school. When he ran away to sea she had defended him when others condemned. Later, when tales of his "smartness," as sailor or mate, or by and by, a full rated captain, began to drift back, she had gloried in them. He came to see her semi-occasionally when his ship was in port, and his yarns of foreign lands and strange people were, to her, far more wonderful than anything she had ever found in the few books which had come in her way. Each ...
— Fair Harbor • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... the fine, powdery snow in drifts. But still the sun shone, though it seemed to grow a little dimmer, a little paler; finally, about two hours after the others had left, Foster-father felt uncertain whether it was all drift that seemed to fill the air with a fine white film, or whether fresh snow ...
— The Adventures of Akbar • Flora Annie Steel

... like so many sea-gulls, but the god presently deprived them of all chance of getting home again. I was all dismayed. Jove, however, sent the ship's mast within my reach, which saved my life, for I clung to it, and drifted before the fury of the gale. Nine days did I drift but in the darkness of the tenth night a great wave bore me on to the Thesprotian coast. There Pheidon king of the Thesprotians entertained me hospitably without charging me anything at all—for his son found me when I was nearly dead with cold and fatigue, whereon he raised me ...
— The Odyssey • Homer

... population of about twenty-six thousand. Here the imperial court established itself in the ducal palaces, and with music, songs and dances beguiled the days until, with the returning spring, the river opened. In the meantime an immense flotilla of imperial barges had been prepared to drift down the stream, a thousand miles, to its mouth at Kherson, where the river flows into the Black sea. These barges were of magnificent dimensions, floating palaces, containing gorgeous saloons and spacious sleeping apartments. As they were constructed merely to float upon the rapid current of ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... own ideal, and worshipping it. For delicacy and melody of colour these pictures are beyond praise, nor can anything exceed the idyllic loveliness of Aphrodite waking the statue into sensuous life: the world above her head like a brittle globe of glass, her feet resting on a drift of the blue sky, and a choir of doves fluttering around her like a fall of white snow. Following in the same school of ideal and imaginative painting is Miss Evelyn Pickering, whose picture of St. Catherine, in the Dudley of some years ...
— Miscellanies • Oscar Wilde

... was at work on a grave, his spade clinking away the drift of bones that permeates the thin brown soil; but my first disappointment had taught me to expect little from Greyfriars' sextons, and I passed him by in silence. A slater on the slope of a neighbouring roof eyed me curiously. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of Cornwall!" laughed the man. "From picking up drift on the shore and tracking seals to their lair in the hollows of the rocks!" He laughed again, and his great eyes flashed wildly. "All sport, Matt! I live like a gentleman born, keeping or ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... assembled Hotel de Rambouillet with immense applause. A central voice from the pit, anticipating the host of enemies and the fame of the reformer of comedy, exclaimed, "Take courage, Moliere, this is true comedy." The learned Menage was the only member of the society who had the good sense to detect the drift; he perceived the snake in the grass. "We must now," said this sensible pedant (in a remote allusion to the fate of idolatry and the introduction of Christianity) to the poetical pedant, Chapelain, "follow the ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... sounding him, to try if it were possible to prevail on him to assert he had written the letter at the instigation of Henley, instead of me; but I soon found it was in vain, and durst not proceed to let him see my drift. ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... creeping ghostly over the iron-bound shore, when the fragments of wreckage began to drift in. Such are the currents upon those coasts that bodies are rarely recovered from wrecks ...
— The Hand Of Fu-Manchu - Being a New Phase in the Activities of Fu-Manchu, the Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... running in front of Ascot House had now become rapid and turbulent. All the boats belonging to the boys had been carried into the school-yard, that they might not drift away. Mrs Price was full of fear and alarm; she was afraid the river would overflow. The doctor was away from home, but she wrote him urgent letters requesting him to return, for she felt her position to be somewhat critical should danger arise, with only two children and two women servants, ...
— Leslie Ross: - or, Fond of a Lark • Charles Bruce

... well a storm, consider and weigh its effects when the wind, blowing across the surface of the sea and the earth, removes and carries with it those things which are not stable in the universal drift. And in order to represent this storm adequately, you must in the first place represent tattered and rent clouds rushing with the rushing wind, accompanied by sandy dust caught up from the seashores, and boughs and leaves ...
— Thoughts on Art and Life • Leonardo da Vinci

... Tim," Charlie said, "the Hoogly is one of the sacred rivers of India, and the people on its banks, instead of burying their dead, put them into the river and let them drift away." ...
— With Clive in India - Or, The Beginnings of an Empire • G. A. Henty

... bluff, several hundred yards down the river, and upon the opposite side. At first glance it resembled some star of the first magnitude, which a sudden depression of the bluff had made visible. The scout ceased paddling, and, suffering the canoe to drift slowly with the tide, fixed his keen gray eyes upon ...
— Through Apache Lands • R. H. Jayne

... into the city at sunset, the workmen met 'em all dressed in holiday attire, and their cheers and blessings followed the carriage till they reached their own door, which wuz banked up with odorous blossoms as high as ever a snow drift blocked up the houses in Jonesville, and they had to fairly wade through the sweet posies to git to ...
— Around the World with Josiah Allen's Wife • Marietta Holley



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