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a- +‎ drift


  • enPR: ə-drĭft', IPA(key): /əˈdɹɪft/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪft


adrift (comparative more adrift, superlative most adrift)

  1. Floating at random.
  2. (of a seaman) Absent from his watch.
  3. (chiefly UK, often with of) Behind one's opponents, or below a required threshold in terms of score, number or position.
    The team were six points adrift of their rivals.
    • 1996, David H. Begg, Monetary Policy in Central and Eastern Europe: Lessons After Half a Decade, International Monetary Fund, →ISBN:
      The Czech Republic in 1994-95, with a pegged nominal exchange rate and nominal deposit rates of 7 percent, was several percentage points adrift of the interest parity condition.
    • 2006, Brian Long, Subaru Impreza: The Road Car & WRC Story, →ISBN, page 56:
      He did well, coming second, but Toyota and Mitsubishi were now neck-and-neck, with the Subaru team 38 points adrift of the leaders.
    • 2012 April 18, Anthony Vickers, “Boro 0 Doncaster Rovers 0”, in The Evening Gazette (Teeside)[1]:
      Boro were left needing snookers after a toothless goalless draw with Dead Men Walking Doncaster left them well adrift and fading in the chase for a Championship play-off place.
    • 2014 December 21, Phil McNulty, “Liverpool 2 - 2 Arsenal”, in BBC[2]:
      Brendan Rodgers's team moved into the top 10 in the Premier League table, but they are nine points adrift of West Ham in fourth place, while Arsenal are sixth.



adrift (comparative more adrift, superlative most adrift)

  1. In a drifting condition; at the mercy of wind and waves.
    • 1858, John Mullaly, The Laying of the Cable, Or the Ocean Telegraph[3], page 231:
      things wore on till eight or nine o'clock, every thing getting adrift and being smashed, and every one on board jamming themselves up in corners or holding on to beams to prevent their going adrift likewise


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