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 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 How to pronounce driveability (audio) \ noun
drivable or less commonly driveable \ ˈdrī-​və-​bəl How to pronounce driveable (audio) \ 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

The sculpture is a cast-iron stake driven into an art-deco-style column. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The American Pavilion in the Venice Biennale: Safe and Sorry," 10 Aug. 2019 Cinco Ranch led 7-1 in game three with the help of two Brooke Hirsch aces, but offense from Kyla Malone and tournament Setter MVP Erin Jones drove Canyon's comeback. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Canyon defeats Cinco Ranch for Katy/Cy-Fair volleyball title," 10 Aug. 2019 The man driving the car — and its sole occupant — was declared dead at the scene, police said. Anchorage Daily News, "Man dies in fiery crash south of Midtown Anchorage," 10 Aug. 2019 What happened on April 13 has riled the small island’s population and has raised uncomfortable questions about class, privilege and the deference shown to tourists, who drive the local economy. Michael Wilson, New York Times, "The Caribbean Resort, the Investment Banker and the Dead Handyman," 9 Aug. 2019 Vibrant patterns, bold hues, and an unapologetic sense of whimsy drive his successful business. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Jonathan Adler Just Released a Vibrant Fabric Collection with The Shade Store," 9 Aug. 2019 The secret to the drink that drives 11% of the coffee company’s US revenue is xanthan gum. Daniel Wolfe, Quartzy, "The science of slushy drinks and how to make a good one," 9 Aug. 2019 Today, restaurants such as Lasa in Los Angeles, Bad Saint in Washington D.C. and the upcoming Amboy in New York City are helping drive the food conversation in their respective cities. Michael Russell, oregonlive.com, "Modern Filipino restaurant Magna opens next week in Southeast Portland," 9 Aug. 2019 In a frightening 2015 crash in California, the police officer driving passed out. CBS News, "Washington state troopers sue Ford, saying patrol vehicles gave them carbon monoxide poisoning," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Greg Robinson started at left offensive tackle for the Browns and played Cleveland's first offensive series -- an 89-yard touchdown drive. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Auburn NFL roundup: Stidham-to-Davis goes pro," 11 Aug. 2019 The Bengals started off hot by going on a 14 play, 75-yard touchdown drive to score the first points of the game. Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati.com, "Here's what we learned from Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Week 1 Preseason game," 11 Aug. 2019 The group also gets involved in community projects such as volunteer work at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Cleveland and Columbus, and collection drives for local food pantries. Brian Albrecht, cleveland.com, "Heartland Defenders: Preserve the Constitution, prepare for the worst," 11 Aug. 2019 Gyllenhaal, 38, has made a habit of reliving those memories whenever possible, often taking a drive down while visiting Boston. Isaac Feldberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Jake Gyllenhaal took French model girlfriend to Martha’s Vineyard," 11 Aug. 2019 Picard, Riker and the others set off to stop the half-robot Borg from sabotaging the first warp drive flight in 2063. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 Highland Tower has much to offer, with a prime location set within walking distance to Highland Village, Central Market and only a brief drive to some of Houston’s finest restaurants. Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle, "Condo Life: Behind the scenes with Pelican Builders," 11 Aug. 2019 Soto's first-inning drive quickly quieted things down. Jake Seiner, courant.com, "Mets work more magic, rally past Nats 4-3 for eighth win in row," 11 Aug. 2019 The Bucs trailed 30-16 midway through the fourth quarter but closed the gap with Ryan Griffin leading two TD drives. Dan Scifo, orlandosentinel.com, "Bucs’ rally falls short in 30-28 preseason loss at Steelers," 10 Aug. 2019

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

13 Aug 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 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

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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

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