n. A driving; a force impelling or urging forward; impulse; hence, figuratively, overbearing power or influence.n. Anything driven; especially, an assemblage or a number of things or animals driven, or impelled by any kind of force: as, a drift of trees in a torrent; a drift of cattle (a drove); a drift of bullets.n. Hence A heap of any matter driven together: as, a drift of snow, or a snow-drift; a drift of sand.n. Course of anything; tendency; aim; intention: as, the drift of reasoning or argument;the drift of a discourse.n. In geology, loose detrital material, fragments of rock, boulders, sand, gravel, or clay, or a mixture of two or more of these deposits, resting on the surface of the bed-rock.n. In mining, a nearly horizontal excavation made in opening or working a mine: nearly the synonym of level.n. Nautical, the leeway which a vessel makes when lying to or hove to during a gale. Also driftway.n. In ship-building, the difference between the size of a bolt and the hole into which it is to be driven, or between the circumference of a hoop and the circumference of the mast on which it is to be driven.n. The horizontal oversetting force or pressure outward exerted by an arch on the piers on which it rests.n. Slow movement of a galvanometer-needle, generally due to changes in the torsional elasticity of the suspending fiber.n. In mech., a longish round and slightly tapering piece of steel used for enlarging a hole in a metallic plate; a drift-bolt; a punch. It sometimes has grooves cut in spirals on the sides, to give it cutting edges. Also called driver.n. Milit.: A tool used in ramming down the composition contained in a rocket or similar fireworkn. A priming-iron to clean the vent of a piece of ordnance from burning particles after each discharge.n. In gunnery, same as derivation, 6.n. A green lane.n. Delay; procrastination.n. In South Africa, a ford.n. The distance traversed in making a single haul of a dredge.To float or be driven along by a current of water or air; be carried at random by the force of the wind or tide; hence, figuratively, to be carried as if by accident or involuntarily into a course of action or state of circumstances.To accumulate in heaps by the force of wind; be driven into heaps.In mining, to run a drift. See drift, n., 6.To drive into heaps: as, a current of wind drifts snow or sand.To cover with drifts or driftage.To excavate horizontally or in a horizontal direction; drive. Shafts are sunk; levels or drifts are driven or drifted.To delay; put off.n. The flow of a current.n. The amount by which a ship is drifted by the action of a current, wind, or sea.n. The place in the sheer where the rails are cut off.n. A conical steel pin used by riveters or fitters to drift or force two holes not quite in line with each other, so that the openings will coincide and let the rivet or bolt pass through.n. A set of fishing-nets.n. A drift-net.n. The catch of fish taken in a drift-net.n. In turpentining, a subdivision of the crop, usually 2,100 boxes or cups.n. In oceanography, a broad and shallow current which advances at, a rate of ten or fifteen miles a day, like that which crosses the middle North Atlantic.n. In aëronautics, the tendency of an object supported in the air (as a kite or a bird) to move in the direction of the air; opposed to lift or the ascensional force.To drive specifically, to drive by striking a set, pin, or block aced against the object to be driven.To enlarge or shape a hole by the use of a drift-pin.