Also, fend for oneself. Provide for one’s own needs, as in Don’t worry about Anne; she’s very good at shifting for herself, or The children had to fend for themselves after school. The first term, using shift in the now obsolete sense of “manage,” was first recorded about 1513; the variant, using fend for in the sense of “look after,” was first recorded in 1629.
- Shift in
character (SI, Control-O, ASCII 15) The character used on some ancient teletypes to start using an alternative character set. (1996-06-24)
- Shifting cultivation
noun 1. a land-use system, esp in tropical Africa, in which a tract of land is cultivated until its fertility diminishes, when it is abandoned until this is restored naturally
- Shifting spanner
noun 1. (Austral & NZ) an adjustable spanner Also called shifter
noun 1. a typewriter key that determines whether characters are printed in upper or lower case and controls the printing of numbers and symbols. 2. Computers. a key that performs the same functions as on a typewriter keyboard and also controls other functions, depending on the program: To print a file, depress the shift key […]