a boat that is adrift is not fastened to anything or controlled by anyone:
Several of the lifeboats were still afloat a month after being cast adrift.
someone who is adrift is confused about what to do in their life:
a young woman adrift in London
3 British English
if something comes adrift, it is no longer fastened or attached to something:
Her hair was forever coming adrift from the pins she used to keep it in place.
two points, five seconds etc behind someone in a competition, race etc