to move slowly on water or in the air
drift out/towards etc
The rubber raft drifted out to sea.
Smoke drifted up from the jungle ahead of us.
to move, change, or do something without any plan or purpose
drift around/along etc
Jenni spent the year drifting around Europe.
I just drifted into teaching, really.
The others drifted away. Melanie stayed.
let your gaze/eyes/thoughts/mind etc drift
Idly she let her eyes drift over his desk.
to gradually change from being in one condition, situation etc into another without realizing it
She was just drifting into sleep when the alarm went off.
if values, prices, shares etc drift, they gradually change:
The dollar drifted lower against the yen today.
if snow, sand etc drifts, the wind blows it into large piles
to allow something, especially something bad, to continue in the same way:
He couldn't let the matter drift for much longer.
drift apartphrasal verb
Over the years my college friends and I have drifted apart.
drift offphrasal verb
I was just drifting off when the phone rang.
He felt himself drifting off to sleep.