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1 definition found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Shift \Shift\ (sh[i^]ft), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shifted; p. pr.
& vb. n. Shifting.] [OE. shiften, schiften, to divide,
change, remove. AS. sciftan to divide; akin to LG. & D.
schiften to divide, distinguish, part Icel. skipta to divide,
to part, to shift, to change, Dan skifte, Sw. skifta, and
probably to Icel. sk[imac]fa to cut into slices, as n., a
slice, and to E. shive, sheave, n., shiver, n.]
1. To divide; to distribute; to apportion. [Obs.]
To which God of his bounty would shift
Crowns two of flowers well smelling. --Chaucer.
2. To change the place of; to move or remove from one place
to another; as, to shift a burden from one shoulder to
another; to shift the blame.
Hastily he schifte him[self]. --Piers
Pare saffron between the two St. Mary's days,
Or set or go shift it that knowest the ways.
3. To change the position of; to alter the bearings of; to
turn; as, to shift the helm or sails.
Carrying the oar loose, [they] shift it hither and
thither at pleasure. --Sir W.
4. To exchange for another of the same class; to remove and
to put some similar thing in its place; to change; as, to
shift the clothes; to shift the scenes.
I would advise you to shift a shirt. --Shak.
5. To change the clothing of; -- used reflexively. [Obs.]
As it were to ride day and night; and . . . not to
have patience to shift me. --Shak.
6. To put off or out of the way by some expedient. "I shifted
him away." --Shak.
To shift off, to delay; to defer; to put off; to lay aside.
To shift the scene, to change the locality or the
surroundings, as in a play or a story.
Shift the scene for half an hour;
Time and place are in thy power. --Swift.
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