adverb or adjective

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

Examples of adrift in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Odell’s ideas gallop between twentieth-century time studies and ancient Chinese water clocks, Amazonian factory floors and Zoom rooms set adrift, mastery journals, Mojave poetry, second shifts, segregated leisure, Ice Age sea floors and present-day climate crisis. Gabriela Riccardi, Quartz, 22 Mar. 2023 But how did that material wind up adrift in the first place? Leslie Nemo, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2019 Off Yemen, bomb-laden drone boats and mines set adrift by Yemen's Houthi rebels have damaged vessels amid that country's yearslong war. Jon Gambrell, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2022 See all Example Sentences for adrift 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'adrift.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of adrift was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near adrift

Cite this Entry

“Adrift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: without power or anchor
a ship adrift in the storm
: without guidance or purpose
alone and adrift in the city
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