graveyard shift


Definition of graveyard shift

: a work shift beginning late at night (such as 11 o'clock) also : the workers on such a shift

Examples of graveyard shift in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those graveyard shift workers were forced to lie face down on the floor, while the robbers tied their hands and feet with duct tape. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jan. 2022 The woman was working the graveyard shift at a 7-Eleven store several blocks north of the Oregon State campus on Oct. 24 when the trio attacked her, according to a GoFundMe set up to help her recover. oregonlive, 5 Nov. 2021 Born in the city, Larsen grew up in Cupertino with a dad who was a United Airlines mechanic on the graveyard shift and a freelance artist mom who later worked for Lockheed Martin doing illustrations for the space-shuttle program. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Sep. 2021 Flores, who now lives in Avondale, had a full-time job working the graveyard shift in a warehouse when the coronavirus pandemic started. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 14 Aug. 2021 For the roughly 25 percent of the US workforce that does shift work—jobs like nursing, manufacturing, or hospitality—pulling the graveyard shift is likely to be tough. Sara Harrison, Wired, 5 July 2021 Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee during a graveyard shift, workers might one day hold an electric razor–sized device to their necks. Maddie Bender, Scientific American, 10 June 2021 Calling it quits after 38 years, an aging fast-food worker trains his young replacement on the graveyard shift at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2021 Ronda Soto, 60, who grew up about a mile north of the courts, works the graveyard shift as a security guard. New York Times, 1 June 2021

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

1908, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About graveyard shift

Time Traveler for graveyard shift

Time Traveler

The first known use of graveyard shift was in 1908

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near graveyard shift


graveyard shift

graveyard stew

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for graveyard shift

Last Updated

7 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Graveyard shift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for graveyard shift

graveyard shift


English Language Learners Definition of graveyard shift

: a scheduled period of work that begins late at night and ends in the morning


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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