drive

verb
\ ˈdrīv How to pronounce drive (audio) \
drove\ ˈdrōv How to pronounce drove (audio) \; driven\ ˈdri-​vən How to pronounce driven (audio) \; driving\ ˈdrī-​viŋ How to pronounce driving (audio) \

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 indrove 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 The school held a food drive [=an event to collect food items for donation] to benefit the local shelter.
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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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 In southern Oregon to Northern California, warnings of low moisture and strong winds — conditions that can drive the flames — are in effect through Tuesday. Andrew Selsky, Anchorage Daily News, "Easing fires not as simple as climate change vs. forest work," 16 Sep. 2020 Less than a quarter of those folks, who drive downtown retail and hospitality sales, as well as tourists, are showing up to shop, sleep or eat downtown. Star Tribune, "COVID stresses downtown Minneapolis commercial property owners," 13 Sep. 2020 Bingo cards can be picked up at the center, delivered to those who do not drive, or staff can email you a link to your card. courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Edition," 10 Sep. 2020 In rural counties, the campaign has kept hitting themes that will drive these new voters to the polls. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Trump’s Pennsylvania Bet," 10 Sep. 2020 Free food is given to those who drive to the location. cleveland, "Richmond Heights Council approves plans for new Flexjet building, coming of Aladdin’s Bakery," 9 Sep. 2020 The movie — which tells the story of one of the city’s 12 O’Clock Boys, who drive down Baltimore’s streets on dirt bikes — was initially set for an April 10 release in theaters by Sony Pictures Classic. Phil Davis, baltimoresun.com, "‘Charm City Kings’ to be released Oct. 8 on HBO Max," 8 Sep. 2020 Though the state has handed victories to Democrats for years in statewide contests, some worry about trends prompted by the pandemic, including crippling unemployment that could drive some of their working-class base out of the state. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "GOP state politicians call on Big Ten commissioner to allow football season," 8 Sep. 2020 The vehicles are for personal use, so they may not be used by people who drive as a job, such as Uber or Lyft or delivery drivers. Ethan May, The Indianapolis Star, "Want to drive a Tesla? Indianapolis now has a subscription service for electric cars," 3 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Led by Hatcher, the Red Wolves went on a seven-play, 65-yard drive capped by another Adams Jr. touchdown to take a 35-31 lead with only 38 seconds left to play. George Stoia, Arkansas Online, "Arkansas State upsets Kansas State, 35-31," 12 Sep. 2020 The online drive, which was held Thursday and mainly appeals to smaller-dollar donors, raised more than $4.9 million. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, ExpressNews.com, "The Big Give SA raises more than expected for nonprofits in San Antonio area," 11 Sep. 2020 The drive down to the stadium, pulling into the parking lot, walking into that cavernous building. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts quietly encouraged by rookie quarterback Jacob Eason's progress," 11 Sep. 2020 Benedictine pulled closer midway through the fourth after a four-play drive, which began after a Hoban fumble – one of the miscues bemoaned by Tyrrell – that allowed Gary Merrill to plow into the end zone on a 1-yard run. Matt Goul, cleveland, "No. 1 Hoban survives No. 5 Benedictine, 31-24," 11 Sep. 2020 Take a drive, a vacation, watch a show together, or just spend some time chatting. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "For 9/11 Families, This Year Might Be One Of The Hardest," 11 Sep. 2020 In January 2016, Prince George, now 7, headed to preschool at the Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk, a short drive from the family's country home, Anmer Hall. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Will Prince Louis Start School This Year Like Prince George and Princess Charlotte?," 8 Sep. 2020 The discipline, drive, and sacrifices required to win—and to consistently stay at the top—resonated with me in Novak Djokovic’s Serve to Win. Rachel King, Fortune, "Book recommendations from Fortune’s 40 under 40 in finance," 8 Sep. 2020 An hour’s drive from La Felicidad, Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora, the fourth generation of his family to lead the coffee producer Bella Vista, described to me the relentless advance of both climate change and rust. Maryn Mckenna, The Atlantic, "Coffee Is Under Attack," 16 Sep. 2020

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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Learn More about drive

Time Traveler for drive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for drive

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Drive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drive. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for drive

drive

verb
How to pronounce drive (audio)

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 How to pronounce drive (audio) \
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
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 How to pronounce drive (audio) \

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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Comments on drive

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