Definition of shifting in US English:

shifting

adjective

  • Changing, especially unpredictably.

    ‘diverse districts with shifting demographics’
    • ‘Shifting consumer demand is at the heart of this evolution.’
    • ‘This year, there was evidence of shifting priorities.’
    • ‘An ox grazed a corner of the grounds; the repetitive dull tank of its copper bell rode the shifting wind.’
    • ‘As the fund manager, MDL engaged in such transactions as a means of capitalizing on shifting market conditions.’
    • ‘Here scenes, film images and chance encounters will merge, transform and dissolve before you like a constantly shifting hallucinatory dream.’
    • ‘In all communal life there is a shifting balance between public and private activities.’
    • ‘This shifting focus in higher education illustrates the need to understand what motivates students to learn.’
    • ‘People boarded and got off the boat at different cities, so we were always working with a shifting team.’
    • ‘More than ever, culture and identity create constantly shifting borders.’
    • ‘The wars were chaotic, an impenetrable series of vicious contests between shifting clan alliances.’
    • ‘This is an amazing, and amazingly depressing, novella of the rise and fall of an alien society around a shifting religious myth.’
    • ‘You're going to see shifting trends all the time.’
    • ‘Like product success in a perpetually shifting marketplace, power accrues to those with their finger on the present pulse.’
    • ‘Not to gloss over a comprehensive and really well-illustrated history, but I was most interested in his characterisation of the shifting relationship between humans and machines.’
    • ‘From shifting populations to the "brain drain" to the farm crisis of the 1980s, we've faced some tough times.’
    • ‘The immediate impact of the shifting policies will vary across the state.’
    • ‘Since their 1988 debut, the band has survived a decade and a half of shifting music scenes and neglect from the wider music world.’
    • ‘Girlfriend Emma and best mate Danny, meanwhile, chart the shifting balance of hopes and fears of friends and family.’
    • ‘The production sounds great and the music is very interesting, with shifting rhythms and moods.’
    • ‘It has left Rees with what she describes as "shifting emotional darkness".’
    variable, inconstant, varying, changing, fluctuating, irregular, erratic, wavering, vacillating, inconsistent, fluid, floating, unsteady, unfixed, uneven, unstable, unsettled, turbulent, movable, mutable, chameleon-like
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • shifting sands

    • Used in reference to something that is constantly changing, especially unpredictably.

      ‘whether something is accepted depends upon the shifting sands of taste’
      • ‘At a time of great challenge in the world the commander in chief must stand on principle, not on the shifting sands of political convenience.’
      • ‘"That idea is built on the shifting sands of biology," says Sullivan.’
      • ‘The religious history, while provocative, is built on shifting sands.’
      • ‘These questions found no purchase on the shifting sands of memory.’
      • ‘The fate of the City Hospital is nothing new to us across the Atlantic, where market economy dictates the shifting sands of the medical landscape.’
      • ‘At the parish level I have experienced firsthand the shifting sands of Anglicanism from covenant to contract.’
      • ‘Clan alliances are built on shifting sands.’
      • ‘He built his long-term hopes for the prosperity of the church on the shifting sands of revival rather than the steady development of congregation-based programmes.’
      • ‘Any minister required to speak for the government on its most enduring policy dilemma knows he is on shifting sands.’
      • ‘Aside from swings in the economy, the board has to contend with the shifting sands of global politics, a factor in re-shaping the company.’

Pronunciation

shifting

/ˈʃɪftɪŋ//ˈSHiftiNG/