drive

verb
\ ˈdrīv \
drove\ ˈdrōv \; driven\ ˈdri-​vən \; driving\ ˈdrī-​viŋ \

Definition of drive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to frighten or prod (game, cattle, etc.) into moving in a desired direction drive cattle across the prairie
b hunting : to go through (an area) driving game animals drive the other side of the mountain
2 : to carry on or through energetically drives a hard bargain
3a : to impart a forward motion to by physical force Waves drove the boat ashore. drive the nail into the beam
b : to repulse, remove, or cause to go by force, authority, or influence drive the enemy back
c : to set or keep in motion or operation drive machinery by electricity
d basketball : to move quickly and forcefully down or along drive the lane drive the baseline
4a : to direct the motions and course of (a draft animal) drive an ox
b : to operate the mechanism and controls and direct the course of (a vehicle) drive a car
c : to convey in a vehicle His father drove me home.
d : to float (logs) down a stream
5a : to exert inescapable or coercive pressure on : force driven by his passions
b : to compel to undergo or suffer a change (as in situation or emotional state) drove him crazy drove her out of business
c : to urge relentlessly to continuous exertion the sergeant drove his recruits
d : to press or force into an activity, course, or direction The drug habit drives addicts to steal.
e : to project, inject, or impress incisively drove her point home
6 mining : to force (a passage) by pressing or digging drive a tunnel
7a : to propel (an object of play) swiftly or forcefully drove a long fly ball to the warning track
b golf : to hit (a ball) from the tee especially with a driver (see driver sense f) drove the ball down the fairway also : to drive a golf ball onto (a green)
c baseball : to cause (a run or runner) to be scored (see score entry 2 sense 4a(2)) usually used with in drove him in with a single
8 : to give shape or impulse to factors that drive the business cycle the ideas that have driven history

intransitive verb

1a : to dash, plunge, or surge ahead rapidly or violently rudely drove past her
b : to progress with strong momentum the rain was driving hard
c basketball : to make a quick and forceful move driving to the hoop
2a : to operate a vehicle learned to drive at the age of seventeen
b : to have oneself carried in a vehicle drove to Canada as a kid
3 golf : to drive a golf ball drove down the fairway
drive at
: to intend to express, convey, or accomplish couldn't understand what she was driving at

drive

noun, often attributive

Definition of drive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of driving:
a : a trip in a carriage or automobile a short drive to the coast
b : an instance of collecting and moving animals (such as game or cattle) together in a desired direction also : the animals gathered and driven (see drive entry 1 sense transitive 1a)
c : a driving of cattle or sheep overland
d : a hunt or shoot in which the game is driven within the hunter's range
e : the guiding of logs downstream to a mill also : the floating logs amassed in a drive
f(1) : the act or an instance of propelling an object of play (such as a golf ball) swiftly or forcefully
(2) : the flight of a ball a high drive to left field
2a : a private road : driveway
b : a public road for driving (as in a park)
3 : the state of being hurried and under pressure elude the ruthless drive of work and worry— S. H. Adams
4a : a strong systematic group effort a fund-raising drive
b : a sustained offensive (see offensive entry 1 sense 1) effort the drive ended in a touchdown
5a mechanical engineering : the means for giving motion to a machine or machine part
b : the means by which the propulsive power of an automobile is applied to the road front wheel drive
c : the means by which the propulsion of an automotive vehicle is controlled and directed a left-hand drive
6a : an offensive, aggressive, or expansionist move especially : a strong military attack against enemy-held terrain
b basketball : a quick and aggressive move toward the basket
7a biology : an urgent, basic, or instinctual need : a motivating physiological condition of an organism a sexual drive
b : an impelling culturally acquired concern, interest, or longing the drive to succeed
c : dynamic quality his drive and enthusiasm overcame all obstaclesTimes Literary Supplement
8 computers : a device for reading or writing on magnetic, optical, or electronic media (such as tapes, disks, or flash memory)

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Other Words from drive

Verb

drivability or less commonly driveability \ ˌdrī-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
drivable or less commonly driveable \ ˈdrī-​və-​bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for drive

Verb

move, actuate, drive, impel mean to set or keep in motion. move is very general and implies no more than the fact of changing position. moved the furniture actuate stresses transmission of power so as to work or set in motion. turbines actuated by waterpower drive implies imparting forward and continuous motion and often stresses the effect rather than the impetus. a ship driven aground by hurricane winds impel is usually figurative and suggests a great motivating impetus. a candidate impelled by ambition

Examples of drive in a Sentence

Verb

He drove the car down a bumpy road. Do you want to drive or should I? He is learning to drive. The car stopped and then drove off. A car drove by us slowly. The bus slowly drove away. We drove all night and arrived at dawn. We drove 160 miles to get here. I drive on this route every day. I drive this route every day.

Noun

It's a two-hour drive to the beach. Her house is an hour's drive east of Los Angeles. We took a pleasant drive in the country. Would you like to go for a drive? A white car was parked in the drive.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Technology stocks also remain a driving force in the stock market, as shares of Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and others... Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Most Stocks Are Up, and Yet Some Investors Worry," 7 Feb. 2019 Still, the ability to draw a crowd that can drive her crazy has also gotten her some pretty massive opportunities. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Billie Eilish Is Redefining What It Means To Be A Popstar," 6 Feb. 2019 Her signature bohemian style was the driving force behind each piece, with a fresh and modern approach that could complement a variety of design styles. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Inside Collaborates with Blogger Victoria Smith on a Sumptuous Boho Collection," 31 Jan. 2019 In a sense, then, Intel’s future is already set: continue driving forward in the PC space, make gobs of money from the datacenter and Xeon chips, and continue investing in IoT to help further synergies in Intel’s ecosystem. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel makes Bob Swan its permanent CEO, maintaining a slow, steady course away from the PC," 31 Jan. 2019 His fascination with Beck drives him to do some crazy things, like stalk her every move and, oh yeah, murder people in her inner circle. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "You Season 2: Here's Everything We Know So Far," 11 Jan. 2019 Chuck Todd: That is something that drove me nuts, the original iPod didn’t. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: NBC journalists Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Hallie Jackson on Recode Decode," 5 Dec. 2018 The bellboys will drive you anywhere at any hour of the night. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Stories of IRL Eloise: People Who Live in Hotels," 30 Nov. 2018 Jokes aside, the singer's fans are a driving force behind Jauregui's new chapter releasing music solo. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lauren Jauregui Instagram-Stalks Her Fans' Funniest Memes," 31 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But what pushes it above the rest is the utter drive of both Max and Herman, as love and competition gains primacy over every aspect of their lives. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 And then there's the 45-minute drive to school singing Frozen together, that’s a calming time for me. Amy Spencer, Good Housekeeping, "Chrissy Teigen on Food, Family, and What Happens When You Live a Life You Crave," 15 Jan. 2019 And the country club is about 20 — a 20-minute drive from my parents’ home. Alvin Chang, Vox, "Every time Ford and Kavanaugh answered the question — and didn't answer the question," 28 Sep. 2018 Wayne County is about an hour's drive southeast of Raleigh. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Woman who sheltered Hurricane Florence animals is charged with practicing veterinary medicine without license," 24 Sep. 2018 The $35,000 Tesla Tesla's sold a lot of Model 3s, but so far none of them have been the trim that generated the bulk of the initial hype—the basic, small-battery, $35,000 rear-wheel-drive model. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Five EVs We're Fired Up for in 2019," 10 Jan. 2019 If the economy overheats, one or more of those resources nears its limits, scarcity drives prices up and inflation ensues. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 Lend a hand at a food or clothing drive or try serving at a soup kitchen to see how giving back can affect your own mood. Emily Chiu, Redbook, "6 Simple Things That Help Me Deal With Holiday Depression," 29 Nov. 2018 Everyone’s trying to figure out a way to get that content because that’s what drives, obviously, viewers and subscribers and things like that. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Unlike some athletes, former NFL star Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t want to be a venture capitalist," 23 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of drive

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for drive

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English drīfan; akin to Old High German trīban to drive

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Statistics for drive

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drive

The first known use of drive was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for drive

drive

verb

English Language Learners Definition of drive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to direct the movement of (a car, truck, bus, etc.)
of a car, truck, etc. : to move in a specified manner or direction
: to travel in a car

drive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of drive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a journey in a car
: a hard area or small road outside of a house where cars can be parked
used in the name of some public roads abbr. Dr.

drive

verb
\ ˈdrīv \
drove\ ˈdrōv \; driven\ ˈdri-​vən \; driving\ ˈdrī-​viŋ \

Kids Definition of drive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to direct the movement of drive a car
2 : to go or carry in a vehicle drive into town Mom drove me to school.
3 : to move using force … he used his greater strength to drive the young mouse backwards.— Brian Jacques, Redwall
4 : to push in with force drive a nail
5 : to set or keep in motion or operation The machines are driven by electricity.
6 : to carry through drive a bargain
7 : to force to work or to act The peasants were driven by hunger to steal.
8 : to bring into a particular condition That noise is driving me crazy!

Other Words from drive

driver \ ˈdrī-​vər \ noun

drive

noun

Kids Definition of drive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a trip in a vehicle
2 : driveway
3 : an often scenic public road
4 : an organized effort to achieve a goal a fund-raising drive
5 : a strong natural need or desire the drive to eat
6 : energy and determination to succeed
7 : an act of leading animals in a group to another place a cattle drive
8 : the means for making a machine or machine part move
9 : a device in a computer that can read information off and copy information onto disks or tape a disk drive

drive

noun
\ ˈdrīv \

Medical Definition of drive

1 : an urgent, basic, or instinctual need : a motivating physiological condition of the organism a sexual drive
2 : an impelling culturally acquired concern, interest, or longing a drive for perfection

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More from Merriam-Webster on drive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drive

Spanish Central: Translation of drive

Nglish: Translation of drive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drive

Comments on drive

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