\ 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 Combined with this place called Open Source, that had kind of had been a little bit adrift maybe. CBS News, "Transcript: Sean Roche talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 1 Jan. 2020 Many of these writers, newly adrift in Hollywood’s crosscurrents, turned to their lawyers for help. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, "Hollywood’s lawyers play on-call doctors in drama between WGA and agencies," 18 Sep. 2019 In addition, the lengthy fight between the Legislature and governor over the size of the budget has left anti-homelessness groups adrift in uncertainty. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Capital budget vetoes leave gap for homelessness services in Anchorage, and further closures are possible," 15 Aug. 2019 With the whirling dervish that tethered these supporting characters together out on the road, their individual stories seem, at times, adrift. Patrick Gomez, EW.com, "Mrs. Maisel season 3 is still marvelous, but tries too hard to be an ensemble comedy: Review," 4 Dec. 2019 Post-Soviet Ukraine was just 13 years old, and adrift. The Economist, "From Paul Manafort to Donald Trump’s fateful phonecall," 12 Oct. 2019 Fire and police units are at the scene of a barge accident that set several boats adrift or sinking in the Ohio River. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Barge hits marina, sets boats adrift in Ohio River," 2 Oct. 2019 In 2014, Louis Zamperini, 97, an Olympic runner who survived a bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean, weeks adrift and then years as a Japanese prisoner of war and became the subject of a celebrated book and movie, died in Los Angeles. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 2 July 2019 Human Head waited the deal out, Bethesda canceled the apparently-almost-finished Prey 2, and Human Head spent the entire ensuing console generation adrift. PCWorld, "This week in games: Sonic loses his teeth, John Carmack steps back from Oculus," 11 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of adrift

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adrift

a- entry 1 + drift entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adrift

Time Traveler for adrift

Time Traveler

The first known use of adrift was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Statistics for adrift

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adrift.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adrift. Accessed 20 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adrift

adrift

adjective
How to pronounce adrift (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!