\ ə-ˈdrift How to pronounce adrift (audio) \

Definition of adrift

1 : without motive power and without anchor or mooring a boat adrift on the sea
2 : without ties, guidance, or security people morally adrift
3 : free from restraint or support

Examples of adrift in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Image Nearly a week after they were first rescued from six crowded rubber dinghies adrift in the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of migrants have found their journey is still not over. Megan Specia, New York Times, "Aboard the Rescue Ship Where Migrants Have Been Stuck for a Week," 15 June 2018 Instead, there could be 50 billion rogue planets are adrift in the Milky Way. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Our Galaxy Could Have 50 Billion Rogue Planets," 11 Mar. 2019 Entering it, we are set adrift in a hallucinatory aftermath, feeling mildly delirious and increasingly anxious. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘The Wall’ Review: We Shall Defend Our Island," 1 Mar. 2019 West Brom are 10 points adrift of 17th position and only have seven games left to save their bacon or the Championship awaits without Evans in tow. SI.com, "Spurs & Arsenal Set to Go Head-to-Head in £3m Battle for West Brom Captain Jonny Evans," 23 Mar. 2018 The migrants—including people from South Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan and Ethiopia—had been picked up by the cargo ship while adrift in the Mediterranean Sea and brought to the coastal Libyan city of Misrata, east of Tripoli, on Nov. 10. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Libyan Authorities Forcibly Remove Migrants from Cargo Ship, U.N. Says," 20 Nov. 2018 An Indonesian teenager, who worked on a floating fish trap 80 miles off the country's coast, survived 49 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean with only a Bible, limited rations and a small radio, reports said Monday. Edmund Demarche, Fox News, "Indonesian teen survives 49 days adrift without paddle, but with Bible: report," 24 Sep. 2018 Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan still believes that a top four Premier League finish is possible for the Gunners to achieve this season - despite currently being eight points adrift in sixth place with only 11 games left to play. SI.com, "Henrikh Mkhitaryan Still Chasing 'Possible' Top 4 Premier League Finish Ahead of Europa League Win," 23 Feb. 2018 On July 14, a storm broke the moorings on Aldi’s rompong, setting him adrift. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Indonesian Teenager Rescued After 49 Days Adrift At Sea," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adrift.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adrift

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adrift

a- entry 1 + drift entry 1

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Statistics for adrift

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for adrift

The first known use of adrift was in 1578

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English Language Learners Definition of adrift

of a boat : floating on the water without being tied to anything or controlled by anyone
: without guidance, purpose, or support
British : behind by a specified amount in a race, competition, etc.
\ ə-ˈdrift How to pronounce adrift (audio) \

Kids Definition of adrift

: in a drifting state a ship adrift in the storm Boats floated adrift.

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More from Merriam-Webster on adrift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adrift

Spanish Central: Translation of adrift

Nglish: Translation of adrift for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adrift for Arabic Speakers

Comments on adrift

What made you want to look up adrift? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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