expedient may apply to any device or contrivance used when the usual one is not at hand or not possible.
a flimsy expedient
shift implies a tentative or temporary imperfect expedient.
desperate shifts to stave off foreclosure
makeshift implies an inferior expedient adopted because of urgent need or allowed through indifference.
old equipment employed as a makeshift
stopgap applies to something used temporarily as an emergency measure.
a new law intended only as a stopgap
I shifted the bag to my other shoulder.
She shifted her position slightly so she could see the stage better.
They shifted him to a different department.
He nervously shifted from foot to foot.
She shifted in her seat.
Public opinion has shifted dramatically in recent months.
Their efforts to shift public opinion have failed.
I wanted to shift the discussion back to the main point.
They tried to shift the blame onto us.
Their attempts at shifting attention away from the controversy seemed to be working. Noun
There will be a shift of responsibility when she takes the new position.
a shift away from tradition
a gradual shift toward more liberal policies
a shift in voter opinion
The day shift worked overtime.
The restaurant needed only one shift for lunch.
He works the day shift. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
One idea is for countries to simply shift their time zones by one hour at some point, effectively wiping out the astronomical misalignment in one fell swoop.
Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 29 Nov. 2022 People who transition, and who come out, and who decide to shift their gender presentation know what Debré means.
Alexis Okeowo, The New Yorker, 28 Nov. 2022 States will continue to shift their political allegiance at roughly the pace of continental drift.
Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 28 Nov. 2022 Ukrainian success on the battlefield has forced Moscow to shift its war objectives.
Laurence Norman, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2022 In the drug world, this was a modest step up — from day laborer to shift supervisor.
Selam Gebrekidan, New York Times, 27 Nov. 2022 Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also sought to shift blame for civilian hardship on Ukraine’s government.
John Leicester, Hanna Arhirova, Sam Mednick, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Nov. 2022 Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov sought Thursday to shift blame for civilian hardship on Ukraine’s government.
John Leicester And Hanna Arhirova, Chicago Tribune, 24 Nov. 2022 But by the 1960s, that had begun to shift, Andrews said.
Leah Asmelash, CNN, 24 Nov. 2022
Jeffries, along with Clark, 59; and Aguilar, 43, mark a generational shift to House Democrats' top spots.
Rachel Scott, ABC News, 30 Nov. 2022 At the same time, there’s little prospect of a Franklin Roosevelt-style shift to redistribution, worker power and industrial policy with a political system now balanced close to 50-50 at every election and fiercely partisan.
James Mackintosh, WSJ, 29 Nov. 2022 And with the pandemic-era shift to mail-in ballots being sent to every eligible voter, roughly 80% of votes were cast that way, the county reported.
James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2022 The shift to a low-carbon economy can add trillions of dollars to global growth each year, and create millions of jobs.
Bypaul Polman, Fortune, 24 Nov. 2022 The streamer’s first Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion, opens Nov. 23 in 600-plus theaters for a monthlong run before a Dec. 23 shift to digital.
Mikey O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Nov. 2022 After the shift to WFH, 52% of employees report craving more connections at work.
Dan Manian And Essence Wagstaff, Quartz, 21 Nov. 2022 The track eventually takes a sonic shift to a minimal hip-hop production once the beat drops for Gaeko’s rap section before slowly returning to its vintage sound and one final key change and epic chorus.
Jeff Benjamin, Billboard, 21 Nov. 2022 Michigan, for instance, could accelerate the shift to electric vehicles.
Denise Chow, NBC News, 19 Nov. 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shift.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Middle English, from Old English sciftan to divide, arrange; akin to Old Norse skipa to arrange, assign