What does adrift mean?

Definitions for adrift

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word adrift.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. adrift(p), afloat(p), aimless, directionless, planless, rudderless, undirectedadjective

    aimlessly drifting

  2. adrift(p)adverb

    afloat on the surface of a body of water

    "after the storm the boats were adrift"

  3. adriftadverb

    floating freely; not anchored

    "the boat wasset adrift"

  4. adriftadverb

    off course, wandering aimlessly

    "there was a search for beauty that had somehow gone adrift"


  1. adriftadverb

    In a drifting condition; at the mercy of wind and waves.

  2. adriftadjective

    Floating at random.

    So on the sea shall be set adrift. --Dryden.

  3. adriftadjective

    Absent from his watch.

  4. Etymology: Prefix a- (for on) + drift.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Adriftadverb

    Floating at random; as, any impulse may drive.

    Etymology: from a and drift, from drive.

    Then, shall this mount
    Of paradise, by might of waves, be mov’d
    Out of his place, push’d by the horned flood;
    With all his verdure spoil’d, and trees adrift
    Down the great river, to the opening gulf,
    And there take root. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xi. l. 832.

    It seem’d a corps adrift to distant sight;
    But at a distance who could judge aright. John Dryden, Fables.

    The custom of frequent reflection will keep their minds from running adrift, and call their thoughts home from useless unattentive roving. John Locke, on Education, § 176.


  1. adrift

    Adrift refers to something or someone that is floating without being controlled or steered, often due to a lack of direction, purpose, or guidance. It can be used literally, to describe a boat that is not moored or anchored, or figuratively, to describe a person who is aimless or lacking stability in their life.

  2. adrift

    Adrift refers to something or someone that is floating without being guided, controlled, or steered, often in water. In a metaphorical sense, it can also mean lacking purpose, direction, or guidance.

  3. adrift

    Adrift generally refers to something or someone that is floating without being controlled, lacking purpose or guidance, directionless, not anchored or moored. It can be used in both literal and metaphorical context. For example, it can refer to a boat that has become untied or a person who feels they have no particular direction in life.

  4. adrift

    Adrift generally refers to something or someone that is floating without being guided, controlled or tethered, often in water. It can also refer to a state of aimlessness, being lost, or lacking direction in one's life or activities.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Adrift

    floating at random; in a drifting condition; at the mercy of wind and waves. Also fig

  2. Etymology: [Pref. a- (for on) + drift.]



    ADRIFT is a graphical user interface used to create and play text adventures. The name is an acronym for "Adventure Development & Runner - Interactive Fiction Toolkit". The project is solely developed by Campbell Wild. The toolkit consists of two programs; a generator, and a runner, though the runner is available to download separately. In the current stable release, released in 2002, both programs only run on Microsoft Windows platforms as they are written in Visual Basic. The generator is shareware, though the runner is available free to everyone. Older versions of the program can also be downloaded on the website. However, version 5 is now donationware, enabling full functionality of the software without requiring payment. The runner program is also able to run on Linux using the Mono project. A Mac version is expected soon. Coinciding with the 2011 Interactive Fiction competition, ADRIFT WebRunner was launched. This allows any ADRIFT game to be played online. Because the game runs server side, it allows games to run on any device such as iPad.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Adrift

    a-drift′, adj. or adv. floating as driven (by the wind): moving at random. [Prep. a, and Drift.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. adrift

    Floating at random; the state of a boat or vessel broken from her moorings, and driven to and fro without control by the winds and waves. Cast loose; cut adrift.

How to pronounce adrift?

How to say adrift in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of adrift in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of adrift in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of adrift in a Sentence

  1. Floyd McKissick:

    What Biden inherited was a ship that was adrift at sea that he's had to sail on a corrective course to get things back in place, and I think he's done an excellent job in doing so.

  2. Kamala Harris:

    Were at an inflection point. The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid, the callousness makes us feel alone. Its a lot. And heres the thing : We can do better and deserve so much more. We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work. A president who will bring all of us togetherBlack, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenousto achieve the future we collectively want. We must elect Joe Biden.

  3. Henrique Olifiers:

    Worlds Adrift allows you to go into the game and set your own objectives and go about the game however you choose.

  4. Steve Rock:

    The world is a mess, our society seems adrift and issues related to COVID have made things worse.

  5. Luiz Carlos Heinze:

    If cabinet members are found guilty they have to go. Three have fallen and more could follow. That's not a problem. Temer will still have our support because Brazil was adrift and he has set the economy on a new course.

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Translations for adrift

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"adrift." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/adrift>.

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    a wild and exciting undertaking (not necessarily lawful)
    • A. moan
    • B. jeopardize
    • C. embark
    • D. adventure

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