late 16c., "to float or be driven along by a current," from drift (n.). Transitive sense of "to drive in heaps" is from 1610s. Figurative sense of "be passive and listless" is from 1822. Related: Drifted; drifting. To drift apart "gradually lose mutual affection" is by 1859.
Old English wudu, earlier widu "tree, trees collectively, forest, grove; the substance of which trees are made," from Proto-Germanic *widu- (source also of Old Norse viðr, Danish and Swedish ved "tree, wood," Old High German witu "wood"), from PIE *widhu- "tree, wood" (source also of Welsh gwydd "trees," Gaelic fiodh- "wood, timber," Old Irish fid "tree, wood"). Out of the woods "safe" is from 1792.
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<a href="https://www.etymonline.com/word/driftwood">Etymology of driftwood by etymonline</a>
Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of driftwood. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/driftwood