drift·​er | \ ˈdrif-tər How to pronounce drifter (audio) \

Definition of drifter

: one that drifts especially : one that travels or moves about aimlessly

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Examples of drifter in a Sentence

He was a drifter who hitchhiked from state to state. the drifter just packed up and moved on to the next dead-end job
Recent Examples on the Web Warren Beatty plays McCabe, a drifter and fast-talker who falls in with, and falls in love with, Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie), a madam who offers to improve business at his low-rent brothel. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The 50 Greatest Western Movies of All Time," 18 Jan. 2021 Into this scene of domestic non-bliss wanders Frank Chambers, a handsome drifter with a laconic manner given to philosophical brooding. Michael Washburn, National Review, "Lana Turner at 100," 3 Jan. 2021 Fortunately, the drifter was gone when the boy returned a few minutes later on a bike. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "‘Walking on eggshells:’ Many Hartford families live in fear, shut themselves away as shootings batter the city," 15 Nov. 2020 Then, reports broke that a drifter named Bobby Joe Fowler might be connected to dozens of killings across Canada and the West. Special To The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Who killed Kelly Disney? 1984 cold case gets new life," 10 Oct. 2020 The newfound drifter instead provides strong support for the core accretion model. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Rogue Rocky Planet Found Adrift in the Milky Way," 19 Oct. 2020 Daniel Dovi, a drifter with a history of mental illness and a past in Pennsylvania, Maine and Texas, might have surprised his victims at the beachside Earl Lifshey Park on June 9, according to the police records. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "Killer armed with machete likely ambushed homeless men at night, records show," 4 Aug. 2020 Aqua 4-in-1 inflatable pool float ($27.30) can be used as a lounge chair, hammock, drifter or exercise saddle. oregonlive, "Amazon best sellers – what everyone is buying on sale for summer and maybe you should too," 5 July 2020 Jones, a drifter from Oklahoma, was convicted in Mobile County for the Sept. 2004 murder of 45-year-old Lisa Marie Nichols. al, "Netflix ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ reboot features Alabama serial killer Jeremy Jones," 2 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drifter.' 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 drifter

1897, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for drifter

Time Traveler

The first known use of drifter was in 1897

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Statistics for drifter

Last Updated

3 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Drifter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drifter. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for drifter



English Language Learners Definition of drifter

: a person who moves from one place or job to another without a purpose or plan

More from Merriam-Webster on drifter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drifter

Nglish: Translation of drifter for Spanish Speakers

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