A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

Drift, Dryft, n. [e.m.E. drift (c 1300), related to Drive v.]

1. A drove or herd (of cattle or sheep); a team. Also attrib. with nolt, sheep. Gaif thow not me this drift Airlie, quhen thow wes eirand on ȝone bank; Henr. Fab. 2258.
[The said John Stow stole a] drift [of sheep]; 1495 Crim. Trials I. 23.
Cursit is the drift of thine oxin and the flockis of thy scheip; Hamilton Cat. 32.
For reskewing … of the saidis gudis, followit the drift quhill the said xvi day of Februar; 1557 Crim. Trials I. 398.
Ane kow ane penne, ten cheip ane d., baith at fair tyme and dryftes ganging throw the tounes muir; 1576 Lanark B. Rec. 71.
The transporting of the saidis nolt and scheip … in grite nowmeris and driftis; 1585 Acts III. 426/2.
To Humphray Shaw & another to go to St Ninians and stop a highland drift; 1661 Stirling Comm. Good MS. 3.
With the reservation of drifts betuixt the waters betuixt Peebles Water cald and the tree bridges; 1682 Peebles B. Rec. II. 102.
With the reservation of the drift nolt and drift sheep; Ib.

2. A driving force, impetus. This wedder … followit ay sa ferslie on his fa, With sic an drift, quhill dust and dirt ouerdraif him; Henr. Fab. 2515.
The eistyn wynd, with ane terrible drift blewe the sand … in the face of Constantinis armye; Boece xi. xiv. 433.
The snaw so snell ay dryvand with sic drift; Stewart 10785.
Scho puft and ȝiskit with sic riftis, That verry dirt come furth with driftis; Lynd. Sat. 4360 (B).

b. Driving snow. In snaw, sleit, drift, wind, froist, hailstanis, & rane; 1569 Sat. P. x. 320.
Ane day of snaw, as the same wes werrie thik of drift; Hist. Kennedy 45.
I … was weatherbeaten by such great drift and snow, with wind, that I could not winn throu; 1684 Brodie Diary 483.

3. Putting off, delay, procrastination. Hir Hienes gaif sufficient significatioun that scho intendit na drift of tyme; a 1558 Q. Mary in
Keith Hist. App. 102.
The bischope … , after much ado, and long dryft of tyme, cam in the Quenis will; 1563 Knox II. 380.
The judgment of the wryter is, that thair is no treuth meanit, but onlie drift of tyme till that the quenis factione may assemble new forces; Bann. Memor. 39.
Fabius … who by great craft ferse Anniball and drift of tyme ourcame; Fowler I. 99/58.
He … seiks ay Delayis of tymes be driftis; Montg. Ch. & Slae 656.
Leontius casting in many doutis and occasions of drift; Melville Mem. 41.

4. A scheme or plan. A wylie wicht … Quhais deuillische dryftis puttis all in poynt to spill; 1570 Sat. P. xxii. 35.
He had commed very weill to his drifts and obtened the end off his desyrs gif [etc.]; Fowler II. 82/4.
I pray, Satan's drift be not to break our agreement; 1597 Bk. Univ. Kirk III. 915.
It is verie evident that there onlie drift and purpose is … to have stirred the said Lord Fraser to [etc.]; 1637 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 127.

5. A horizontal passage in a mine. Hardin claith to mak coveris over the men in the drift to keip the watter from thaime; 1608 Hilderstoun Silver Mines I. 56 b.
Sax great cuddeis that caryis the mettell betuix driftis; Ib. 104 b.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Drift n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Nov 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/drift_n>

10779

dost

Try an Advanced Search

Browse DOST:

    Loading...

Share: