drive

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

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) broadly : memory sense 4 … the disk defragmenter doesn't just defrag a given drive— Barry Brenesal — see also hard drive

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The encampment is now so huge that some residents drive buses and motorcycles to get from one end to the other. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 May 2022 Reyes gets paid to hit the ball over the wall and drive in runs. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 6 May 2022 Then drive your torso forward and arch your back; breathe deeply. Eric Leija, Men's Health, 6 May 2022 The Mercury have pledged to do the shoe drive at all home games this season in Griner’s honor, while the other 11 teams will honor Griner with philanthropic efforts. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2022 Pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo was seen posing with her dirty soda outside of Swig, a drive-by-drink shop in Saint George, Utah. Ebony Williams, ajc, 6 May 2022 This certainly was Russian president Vladimir Putin’s intent: to strike fear into the European countries that are upping their economic and military aid to Ukraine and, in the same stroke, drive a wedge into the Western alliance. Paul Hockenos For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 5 May 2022 One weekend night at a drive-in movie, Larry pulled up next to a car and looked over. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, 5 May 2022 The woman, who was in her 30s, doesn't work or drive. Kevin Grasha, The Enquirer, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Red October came packed with a magnetohydrodynamic drive (MHD) system, a real-life propulsion system that supposedly gave the ship a first-strike capability. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 9 May 2022 An immediate problem is that if the regular budget isn’t increased with the procurement drive, the German military might find itself without the resources—especially the manpower—to use and maintain its new equipment. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 8 May 2022 With all-wheel-drive, the 5.7-liter nearly matches the Grand Wagoneer six-pot’s fuel economy with 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 5 May 2022 The 2022 Genesis G70 comes with rear wheel drive as standard. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 1 May 2022 In the bottom half, Garcia made up for the misplay with a drive over the left-field fence to tie it. Lary Bump, Chron, 26 Apr. 2022 Bichette snapped a 2-all tie with a two-out drive to right field off right-hander Tyler Danish in the eighth. Ian Harrison, Hartford Courant, 25 Apr. 2022 Shortstop Ryan Rivera started the homer parade with a tremendous drive over the 25-foot-high screen in deepest left-center field. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 Amed Rosario sparked Cleveland’s comeback with a drive to center field that got under the glove of Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor. Joe Noga, cleveland, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of drive

Verb

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

Noun

1685, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

History and Etymology for drive

Verb and Noun

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

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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Dictionary Entries Near drive

drivage

drive

drive a hard bargain

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Statistics for drive

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Drive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drive. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for drive

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
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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on drive

Nglish: Translation of drive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drive

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