English

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Etymology

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shift +‎ -less

Adjective

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shiftless (comparative more shiftless, superlative most shiftless)

  1. Lazy, unmotivated.
    • 1876 July, Henry James, Jr., chapter V, in The American, Boston, Mass.: James R[ipley] Osgood and Company, [], published 5 May 1877, →OCLC, page 87:
      To expand, without bothering about it—without shiftless timidity on one side, or loquacious eagerness on the other—to the full compass of what he would have called a "pleasant" experience, was Newman's most definite programme of life.
    • 2015, Philip E. Tetlock, Dan Gardner, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction:
      Decades ago, before credit scores, loan officers could make decisions almost whimsically and your fate could hinge on whether you reminded them of someone, or they had slept poorly the night before, or they harbored stereotypes of "shiftless blacks" and "flighty women."
  2. Untrustworthy as a result of being incompetent at the job.
  3. Destitute of shifts or expedients; lacking proper means.

Translations

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