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

Hyperdrive, which debuts Wednesday as a 10-episode season, challenges all sorts of drivers from around the world—drifters, rally masters, drag racers, and more—to complete a course that spreads over 100 acres. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Netflix's Hyperdrive Is American Ninja Warrior for Cars," 21 Aug. 2019 The event, which kicks off with the Mayor’s Bike Parade at 10:30 a.m., will include a drifter trike challenge course, parking spaces that have been converted into mini urban parks and a driver education program. Danika Worthington, The Know, "A square mile of downtown will be closed for festival ahead of Colorado Classic bike race," 13 Aug. 2019 Their ancestral parallels are the earliest drifters of the Lost Generation, born in the mid-to-late 1880s — people to whom Glenn Miller seemed unbearably young. New York Times, "The Rise of the Spice Girls Generation," 19 July 2019 Andrew Boyce’s scenic design is a fluid cross between an analyst’s office and a shabby motel room evoking Florida interstates and dubious drifters. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Review: In Lucas Hnath's 'Dana H.,' a kidnapping survivor's truth hides in the shadows," 3 June 2019 The ongoing search Authorities continued the search for weeks, tracking down drifters and others who might have known what happened to the boy. John Caniglia, cleveland.com, "‘A missing child can never be forgotten’: Police, surviving sister seek answers in 1928 disappearance of Orrville boy," 21 July 2019 That play was good to him: Tony-nominated for his supporting performance as Tom Finley, the brother of the lead character’s old girlfriend, Mr. Torn eventually took over the lead role, the drifter Chance Wayne, from Paul Newman. New York Times, "Rip Torn, an Outsize Presence Onstage and Off, Is Dead at 88," 9 July 2019 Not long after Cook came countless traders and whalers, government administrators and their soldiers, missionaries (the first in 1796), louche Conradian drifters, settlers, and tourists. Damion Searls, Harper's magazine, "The Tide-Beating Heart of Earth," 10 May 2019 Many of those leads, like a report of a drifter spotted in the area, went nowhere. CBS News, "Podcast spotlights Mississippi double murder – can new DNA technology solve the cold case?," 29 June 2019

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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Statistics for drifter

Last Updated

30 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for drifter

The first known use of drifter was in 1897

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on drifter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drifter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drifter

Spanish Central: Translation of drifter

Nglish: Translation of drifter for Spanish Speakers

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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