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Shift vs. Change — What's the Difference?

Shift vs. Change — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Shift and Change

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Shift

Move or cause to move from one place to another, especially over a small distance
A team from the power company came to shift the cables away from the house
The roof cracked and shifted

Change

To cause to be different; alter
We decided to change the color of the walls. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game.

Shift

Change gear in a vehicle
She shifted down to fourth

Change

To give a completely different form or appearance to; transform
The new homeowners changed the yard into a garden.

Shift

Be evasive or indirect
They know not how to shift and rob as the old ones do
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Change

To give and receive reciprocally; interchange
Anne and I changed seats so that she could sit next to the aisle.

Shift

A slight change in position, direction, or tendency
A shift in public opinion

Change

To exchange for or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category
Change one's name.
A light that changes colors.

Shift

Each of two or more recurring periods in which different groups of workers do the same jobs in relay
Anne was on the night shift

Change

To lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; switch
Change methods.
Change sides.

Shift

A woman's straight unwaisted dress.

Change

To transfer from (one conveyance) to another
In Chicago, we'll have to change planes.

Shift

An ingenious or devious device or stratagem
The thousand shifts and devices of which Hannibal was a master

Change

To give or receive the equivalent of (money) in lower denominations or in foreign currency
This machine will change dollar bills into coins. At the airport, the traveler changed British pounds into euros.

Shift

To exchange (one thing) for another of the same class
Shifted assignments among the students.

Change

To put fresh clothes or coverings on
It's your turn to change the baby. I'll show you how to change the bed.

Shift

To move or transfer from one place or position to another.

Change

To become different or undergo alteration
He changed as he matured. The town grew and changed over the years.

Shift

To alter (position or place).

Change

To undergo transformation or transition
The music changed to a slow waltz.

Shift

To change (gears), as in an automobile.

Change

To go from one phase to another, as the moon or the seasons.

Shift

(Linguistics) To alter phonetically as part of a systematic historical change.

Change

To make an exchange; switch
If you prefer this seat, I'll change with you.

Shift

To change position, direction, place, or form.

Change

To transfer from one conveyance to another
She changed in Detroit on her way to California.

Shift

To provide for one's own needs; get along
"See me safe up.

Change

To put on other clothing
We changed for dinner. They changed into work clothes.

Shift

To get along by tricky or evasive means.

Change

To become deeper in tone
His voice began to change at age 13.

Shift

To change gears, as when driving an automobile.

Change

The act, process, or result of altering or modifying
A change in facial expression.
A last-minute change in the schedule.

Shift

(Linguistics) To be altered as part of a systematic historical change. Used of speech sounds.

Change

The replacing of one thing for another; substitution
A change of atmosphere.
A change of ownership.

Shift

To use a shift key.

Change

A transformation or transition from one state, condition, or phase to another
The change of seasons.

Shift

A change from one person or configuration to another; a substitution.

Change

Something different; variety
Ate early for a change.

Shift

A group of workers that relieve another on a regular schedule.

Change

A different or fresh set of clothing
I brought along a change of shirts to the overnight party.

Shift

The working period of such a group
Worked the night shift.

Change

Money of smaller denomination given or received in exchange for money of higher denomination
Will you give me change of four quarters for a dollar?.

Shift

A means to an end; an expedient.

Change

The balance of money returned when an amount given is more than what is due
I paid $3 for the coffee that cost $2.50, so I received 50 cents in change.

Shift

A stratagem; a trick.

Change

Coins
Loose change was jingling in my pocket.

Shift

A change in direction
A shift in the wind.

Change

A pattern or order in which bells are rung.

Shift

A change in attitude, judgment, or emphasis.

Change

In jazz, a change of harmony; a modulation.

Shift

(Music) A change of the hand position in playing the violin or a similar instrument.

Change

A market or exchange where business is transacted.

Shift

(Football) A rearrangement of players from one formation to another just prior to the snap of the ball.

Change

(intransitive) To become something different.
The tadpole changed into a frog.
Stock prices are constantly changing.

Shift

(Baseball) A rearrangement of one or more fielders for improved defense against a particular hitter.

Change

To make something into something else.
The fairy changed the frog into a prince.
I had to change the wording of the ad so it would fit.

Shift

(Geology) See fault.

Change

(transitive) To replace.
Ask the janitor to come and change the lightbulb.
After a brisk walk, I washed up and changed my shirt.

Shift

(Computers) Movement of characters in a register to the left or right, as of the bits in a byte.

Change

(intransitive) To replace one's clothing.
You can't go into the dressing room while she's changing.
The clowns changed into their costumes before the circus started.

Shift

The act or an instance of using a shift key.

Change

(transitive) To replace the clothing of (the one wearing it).
It's your turn to change the baby.

Shift

(Physics) A change in wavelength, causing a movement of a spectral band or line.

Change

(intransitive) To transfer to another vehicle (train, bus, etc.)

Shift

A systematic change of the phonetic or phonemic structure of a language.

Change

(archaic) To exchange.

Shift

Functional shift.

Change

(transitive) To change hand while riding (a horse).
To change a horse

Shift

A loosely fitting dress that hangs straight from the shoulder; a chemise.

Change

The process of becoming different.
The product is undergoing a change in order to improve it.

Shift

A woman's undergarment; a slip or chemise.

Change

(uncountable) Small denominations of money given in exchange for a larger denomination.
Can I get change for this $100 bill please?

Shift

(historical) A type of women's undergarment of dress length worn under dresses or skirts, a slip or chemise.
Just last week she bought a new shift at the market.

Change

(countable) A replacement.
A change of clothes

Shift

A simple straight-hanging, loose-fitting dress.

Change

(uncountable) Balance of money returned from the sum paid after deducting the price of a purchase.
A customer who pays with a 10-pound note for a £9 item receives one pound in change.

Shift

A change of workers, now specifically a set group of workers or period of working time.
We'll work three shifts a day till the job's done.

Change

(uncountable) An amount of cash, usually in the form of coins, but sometimes inclusive of paper money.
Do you have any change on you? I need to make a phone call.
This bus ride requires exact change.

Shift

An act of shifting; a slight movement or change.
There was a shift in the political atmosphere.

Change

(countable) A transfer between vehicles.
The train journey from Bristol to Nottingham includes a change at Birmingham.

Shift

(US) The gear mechanism in a motor vehicle.
Does it come with a stick-shift?

Change

(baseball) A change-up pitch.

Shift

Alternative spelling of Shift.
If you press shift-P, the preview display will change.

Change

(campanology) Any order in which a number of bells are struck, other than that of the diatonic scale.

Shift

(computing) A control code or character used to change between different character sets.

Change

A public house; an alehouse.

Shift

(computing) An instance of the use of such a code or character.

Change

To alter; to make different; to cause to pass from one state to another; as, to change the position, character, or appearance of a thing; to change the countenance.
Therefore will I change their glory into shame.

Shift

(computing) A bit shift.

Change

To alter by substituting something else for, or by giving up for something else; as, to change the clothes; to change one's occupation; to change one's intention.
They that do change old love for new,Pray gods, they change for worse!

Shift

(baseball) An infield shift.
Teams often use a shift against this lefty.

Change

To give and take reciprocally; to exchange; - followed by with; as, to change place, or hats, or money, with another.
Look upon those thousands with whom thou wouldst not, for any interest, change thy fortune and condition.

Shift

The act of kissing passionately.

Change

Specifically: To give, or receive, smaller denominations of money (technically called change) for; as, to change a gold coin or a bank bill.
He pulled out a thirty-pound note and bid me change it.

Shift

(archaic) A contrivance, a device to try when other methods fail.

Change

To be altered; to undergo variation; as, men sometimes change for the better.
For I am Lord, I change not.

Shift

(archaic) A trick, an artifice.

Change

To pass from one phase to another; as, the moon changes to-morrow night.

Shift

(construction) The extent, or arrangement, of the overlapping of plank, brick, stones, etc., that are placed in courses so as to break joints.

Change

Any variation or alteration; a passing from one state or form to another; as, a change of countenance; a change of habits or principles.
Apprehensions of a change of dynasty.
All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Shift

(mining) A breaking off and dislocation of a seam; a fault.

Change

A succesion or substitution of one thing in the place of another; a difference; novelty; variety; as, a change of seasons.
Our fathers did for change to France repair.
The ringing grooves of change.

Shift

(genetics) A mutation in which the DNA or RNA from two different sources (such as viruses or bacteria) combine.

Change

A passing from one phase to another; as, a change of the moon.

Shift

(music) In violin-playing, any position of the left hand except that nearest the nut.

Change

Alteration in the order of a series; permutation.

Shift

A period of time in which one's consciousness resides in another reality, usually achieved through meditation or other means.

Change

That which makes a variety, or may be substituted for another.
Thirty change (R.V. changes) of garments.

Shift

To move from one place to another; to redistribute.
We'll have to shift these boxes to the downtown office.

Change

Small money; the money by means of which the larger coins and bank bills are made available in small dealings; hence, the balance returned when payment is tendered by a coin or note exceeding the sum due.

Shift

To change in form or character; swap.

Change

A place where merchants and others meet to transact business; a building appropriated for mercantile transactions.

Shift

(intransitive) To change position.
She shifted slightly in her seat.
His political stance shifted daily.

Change

A public house; an alehouse.
They call an alehouse a change.

Shift

To change residence; to leave and live elsewhere.
We are shifting to America next month.

Change

Any order in which a number of bells are struck, other than that of the diatonic scale.
Four bells admit twenty-four changes in ringing.

Shift

To change (clothes, especially underwear).

Change

An event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another;
The change was intended to increase sales
This storm is certainly a change for the worse
The neighborhood had undergone few modifications since his last visit years ago

Shift

To change (someone's) clothes; sometimes specifically, to change underwear.

Change

A relational difference between states; especially between states before and after some event;
He attributed the change to their marriage

Shift

(intransitive) To change gears (in a car).
I crested the hill and shifted into fifth.

Change

The action of changing something;
The change of government had no impact on the economy
His change on abortion cost him the election

Shift

(typewriters) To move the keys of a typewriter over in order to type capital letters and special characters.

Change

The result of alteration or modification;
There were marked changes in the lining of the lungs
There had been no change in the mountains

Shift

(computer keyboards) To switch to a character entry mode for capital letters and special characters.

Change

The balance of money received when the amount you tender is greater than the amount due;
I paid with a twenty and pocketed the change

Shift

To manipulate a binary number by moving all of its digits left or right; compare rotate.
Shifting 1001 to the left yields 10010; shifting it right yields 100.

Change

A thing that is different;
He inspected several changes before selecting one

Shift

To remove the first value from an array.

Change

A different or fresh set of clothes;
She brought a change in her overnight bag

Shift

(transitive) To dispose of.
How can I shift a grass stain?

Change

Coins of small denomination regarded collectively;
He had a pocketful of change

Shift

(intransitive) To hurry; to move quickly.
If you shift, you might make the 2:19.

Change

Money received in return for its equivalent in a larger denomination or a different currency;
He got change for a twenty and used it to pay the taxi driver

Shift

To engage in sexual petting.

Change

A difference that is usually pleasant;
He goes to France for variety
It is a refreshing change to meet a woman mechanic

Shift

(archaic) To resort to expedients for accomplishing a purpose; to contrive; to manage.

Change

Undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature;
She changed completely as she grew older
The weather changed last night

Shift

To practice indirect or evasive methods.

Change

Cause to change; make different; cause a transformation;
The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city
The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue

Shift

(music) In violin-playing, to move the left hand from its original position next to the nut.

Change

Make or become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence;
Her mood changes in accordance with the weather
The supermarket's selection of vegetables varies according to the season

Shift

To change the reality one's consciousness resides in through meditation or other means.
I finally shifted to Hogwarts last night!

Change

Lay aside, abandon, or leave for another;
Switch to a different brand of beer
She switched psychiatrists
The car changed lanes

Shift

To divide; to distribute; to apportion.
To which God of his bounty would shiftCrowns two of flowers well smelling.

Change

Change clothes; put on different clothes;
Change before you go to the opera

Shift

To change the place of; to move or remove from one place to another; as, to shift a burden from one shoulder to another; to shift the blame.
Hastily he schifte him[self].
Pare saffron between the two St. Mary's days,Or set or go shift it that knowest the ways.

Change

Exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category;
Could you convert my dollars into pounds?
He changed his name
Convert centimeters into inches
Convert holdings into shares

Shift

To change the position of; to alter the bearings of; to turn; as, to shift the helm or sails.
Carrying the oar loose, [they] shift it hither and thither at pleasure.

Change

Give to, and receive from, one another;
Would you change places with me?
We have been exchanging letters for a year

Shift

To exchange for another of the same class; to remove and to put some similar thing in its place; to change; as, to shift the clothes; to shift the scenes.
I would advise you to shift a shirt.

Change

Change from one vehicle or transportation line to another;
She changed in Chicago on her way to the East coast

Shift

To change the clothing of; - used reflexively.
As it were to ride day and night; and . . . not to have patience to shift me.

Change

Become deeper in tone;
His voice began to change when he was 12 years old
Her voice deepened when she whispered the password

Shift

To put off or out of the way by some expedient.
Shift the scene for half an hour;Time and place are in thy power.

Change

Remove or replace the coverings of;
Father had to learn how to change the baby
After each guest we changed the bed linens

Shift

To divide; to distribute.
Some this, some that, as that him liketh shift.

Shift

To make a change or changes; to change position; to move; to veer; to substitute one thing for another; - used in the various senses of the transitive verb.
The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slippered pantaloon.
Here the Baillie shifted and fidgeted about in his seat.

Shift

To resort to expedients for accomplishing a purpose; to contrive; to manage.
Men in distress will look to themselves, and leave their companions to shift as well as they can.

Shift

To practice indirect or evasive methods.
All those schoolmen, though they were exceeding witty, yet better teach all their followers to shift, than to resolve by their distinctions.

Shift

To slip to one side of a ship, so as to destroy the equilibrum; - said of ballast or cargo; as, the cargo shifted.

Shift

The act of shifting.
My going to Oxford was not merely for shift of air.
I 'll find a thousand shifts to get away.
Little souls on little shifts rely.

Shift

Something frequently shifted; especially, a woman's under-garment; a chemise.

Shift

The change of one set of workmen for another; hence, a spell, or turn, of work; also, a set of workmen who work in turn with other sets; as, a night shift.

Shift

In building, the extent, or arrangement, of the overlapping of plank, brick, stones, etc., that are placed in courses so as to break joints.

Shift

A breaking off and dislocation of a seam; a fault.

Shift

A change of the position of the hand on the finger board, in playing the violin.
[They] made a shift to keep their own in Ireland.

Shift

An event in which something is displaced without rotation

Shift

A qualitative change

Shift

The time period during which you are at work

Shift

The act of changing one thing or position for another;
His switch on abortion cost him the election

Shift

The act of moving from one place to another;
His constant shifting disrupted the class

Shift

(geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other;
They built it right over a geological fault

Shift

A group of workers who work for a specific period of time

Shift

A woman's sleeveless undergarment

Shift

A loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist

Shift

Make a shift in or exchange of;
First Joe led; then we switched

Shift

Change place or direction;
Shift one's position

Shift

Move around;
Transfer the packet from his trouser pockets to a pocket in his jacket

Shift

Move very slightly;
He shifted in his seat

Shift

Move from one setting or context to another;
Shift the emphasis
Shift one's attention

Shift

Change in quality;
His tone shifted

Shift

Move and exchange for another;
Shift the date for our class reunion

Shift

Move sideways or in an unsteady way;
The ship careened out of control

Shift

Move abruptly;
The ship suddenly lurched to the left

Shift

Use a shift key on a keyboard;
She could not shift so all ther letters are written in lower case

Shift

Change phonetically as part of a systematic historical change;
Grimm showed how the consonants shifted

Shift

Change gears;
You have to shift when you go down a steep hill

Shift

Lay aside, abandon, or leave for another;
Switch to a different brand of beer
She switched psychiatrists
The car changed lanes

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