: an establishment (such as a theater or restaurant) so laid out that patrons can be accommodated while remaining in their automobiles
drive-in adjective

Examples of drive-in in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Anderson and the saucer car were at The Suds for a few hours, said Susan Wagner, who took over operation of the drive-in in 2023. The Indianapolis Star, 9 Apr. 2024 Follow more of our reporting on An inside look at Kansas City Local Iconic KCK drive-in theater opens for 74th season. Tammy Ljungblad, Kansas City Star, 8 Apr. 2024 Wednesday, April 3 Brews and the Big Screen at Angelika Pop-Up The latest retro film series around Union Market isn’t a drive-in, but weekly screenings at the Angelika Pop-Up. Chris Kelly, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2024 For decades, one of the tastiest indicators of summer in Wisconsin has been the opening of drive-in hamburger and frozen custard stands for the season. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 28 Mar. 2024 Yelp users — 770 of them — rated the drive-in an average of 3.7 stars. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 27 Mar. 2024 Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened a drive-in restaurant in Pasadena in 1937, a few years before starting the first McDonald’s in San Bernardino. Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 Previously:Suds drive-in returning for business in Greenwood When is Suds Drive In restaurant of Greenwood opening? John Tufts, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Mar. 2024 The decor is an amusingly mixed homage to local landmarks such as the Pleasant Hill Motor Movies drive-in theater, which stood on this site before demolition in the 1970s. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 4 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'drive-in.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of drive-in was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near drive-in

Cite this Entry

“Drive-in.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a business (as a movie theater or restaurant) set up so that customers can be served or provided for while remaining in their automobiles
drive-in adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on drive-in

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