1 slow movement towards sth
ADJ. gradual, slow
PREP. ~ (away) from the drift of people away from rural areas into urban slums | ~ (back) to As the strike went on, there was a gradual drift back to work. | ~ into his drift into crime | ~ towards
2 general meaning of sth
ADJ. general, main
VERB + DRIFT catch, follow, get I didn't follow the speech exactly, but I caught the main drift of what was being said. | lose I lost the drift of what she was saying.
3 pile of snow/sand made by the wind
ADJ. deep, great | sand, snow (also snowdrift)
1 be carried along by the wind/water
ADV. slowly | helplessly Cold and hungry, they drifted helplessly towards the Arctic. | downriver, downstream, downwind The boat drifted slowly downstream. | along, back, down, out
PREP. from, to, towards, etc. drifting out to sea
2 move slowly/without purpose
ADV. aimlessly | slowly | quietly, silently | about, around/round, apart, away, back, down, off, up Voices drifted up through the floorboards.
VERB + DRIFT begin to | seem to | allow sth to He allowed his thoughts to drift back to his conversation with Carrie.
PREP. about/around/round He spent the day drifting aimlessly about the house. | across She drifted across the room to where we were standing. | between She began to drift between sleep and wakefulness. | from We seem to be drifting away from the point. | in, into He drifted into teaching, but never really enjoyed it. | out of He drifted in and out of consciousness.