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1 definition found
 for To shift off
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.]
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              To which God of his bounty would shift
              Crowns two of flowers well smelling.  --Chaucer.
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     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.
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              Hastily he schifte him[self].         --Piers
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              Pare saffron between the two St. Mary's days,
              Or set or go shift it that knowest the ways.
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     3. To change the position of; to alter the bearings of; to
        turn; as, to shift the helm or sails.
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              Carrying the oar loose, [they] shift it hither and
              thither at pleasure.                  --Sir W.
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     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.
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              I would advise you to shift a shirt.  --Shak.
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     5. To change the clothing of; -- used reflexively. [Obs.]
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              As it were to ride day and night; and . . . not to
              have patience to shift me.            --Shak.
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     6. To put off or out of the way by some expedient. "I shifted
        him away." --Shak.
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     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.
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              Shift the scene for half an hour;
              Time and place are in thy power.      --Swift.
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