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v. shift·ed, shift·ing, shifts
1. To exchange (one thing) for another of the same class: shifted assignments among the students.
2. To move or transfer from one place or position to another.
3. To alter (position or place).
4. To change (gears), as in an automobile.
5. Linguistics To alter phonetically as part of a systematic historical change.
1. To change position, direction, place, or form.
a. To provide for one's own needs; get along: "See me safe up: for my coming down, I can shift for myself" (Thomas More).
b. To get along by tricky or evasive means.
3. To change gears, as when driving an automobile.
4. Linguistics To be altered as part of a systematic historical change. Used of speech sounds.
5. To use a shift key.
1. A change from one person or configuration to another; a substitution.
a. A group of workers that relieve another on a regular schedule.
b. The working period of such a group: worked the night shift.
a. A means to an end; an expedient.
b. A stratagem; a trick.
4. A change in direction: a shift in the wind.
5. A change in attitude, judgment, or emphasis.
6. A change in position, as:
a. Music A change of the hand position in playing the violin or a similar instrument.
b. Football A rearrangement of players from one formation to another just prior to the snap of the ball.
c. Baseball A rearrangement of one or more fielders for improved defense against a particular hitter.
d. Geology See fault.
e. Computers Movement of characters in a register to the left or right, as of the bits in a byte.
7. The act or an instance of using a shift key.
8. Physics A change in wavelength, causing a movement of a spectral band or line.
9. Linguistics
a. A systematic change of the phonetic or phonemic structure of a language.
b. Functional shift.
a. A loosely fitting dress that hangs straight from the shoulder; a chemise.
b. A woman's undergarment; a slip or chemise.

[Middle English shiften, from Old English sciftan, to arrange, divide.]

shift′er n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shifter - a stagehand responsible for moving sceneryshifter - a stagehand responsible for moving scenery
stage technician, stagehand - an employee of a theater who performs work involved in putting on a theatrical production
2.shifter - a mechanical device for engaging and disengaging gearsshifter - a mechanical device for engaging and disengaging gears; "in Britain they call a gearshift a gear lever"
mechanical device - mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles
automotive vehicle, motor vehicle - a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not run on rails


(Theat) → Kulissenschieber(in) m(f)
(US Aut, bicycle) → Schalthebel m
References in periodicals archive ?
The gear selector is mounted on the steering column freeing up storage space between driver and front seat passenger.
The dials have an expensive watch-like look to them and the ubiquitious 'R' badge appears everywhere from headrests, tachometer and steering wheel to the gear selector.
The model boasted a column mounted gear selector and its makers were proud to point out it had a heater and, pretty unusual for those days, air conditioning as well.
The gear selector is column-mounted, which gives plenty of floor space and an easy route should you need to dive into the back seats.
With 11 separate programmes which can be operated by two paddles behind the steering wheel, by the traditional gear selector, or a mixture of both, it can also be driven in self-selecting mode where the gear changes automatically.
It claimed his L-reg car was one of around 2500 which had a fault in the gear selector mechanism.
Other R-Design interior details include a leather-trim steering wheel with an R-Design logo, aluminium pedals, aluminium centre stack, door inlays and gear selector plus tufted dark floor mats with contrasting leather piping.
Should you wish to try a little Formula One-style shifting up and down, the transmission also offers a standard E-Shift system which, with the gear selector lever in the manual position, enables the driver to clutchlessly change gear via buttons on the steering wheel.
But once seated, comfortably of course, the engine starts with a press on the button atop the gear selector.
Tap the gear selector lever to the side and the gearbox "decides" what is the best gear for powerful acceleration, depending on the current speed and computer-stored engine management data.
Gone is the traditional J-gate gear selector, instead this is the first Jaguar to employ racing-car style, steering column manual paddle shifters.
Automatic transmission models get a new centre console and gear selector gate, while all models now have push-button selection of the four-wheel drive system to replace the separate lever previously positioned behind the main gearshift ( and there is a new audio unit with a CD player integrated into the revised dashboard.