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

Self-driving cars may be on the roads within the next decade or two. Constantine Samaras, The Conversation, "Bargain-hunting robocars could spell the end for downtown parking – cities need to plan ahead now," 23 Aug. 2019 After not making a public appearance for weeks and being rumored dead, the president of Turkmenistan appeared on state television and drove a rally car around The Gates of Hell, a crater of gas that has been burning since it was discovered in 1971. Dan Baum, Harpers Magazine, "September 2019," 19 Aug. 2019 Craig Meister, a counselor and admissions professional of 16 years, said the selectivity of states’ flagship schools often drives lower-income students to attend less selective universities in the state. Teghan Simonton, USA Today, "College recruiters aggressively go after out-of-state kids," 19 Aug. 2019 But there’s just not enough frisson to that question to drive the movie forward. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette Is a Gripping Mess," 16 Aug. 2019 The song is relationship- and lyrics-driven, a Swift signature, and there's a hint of her country background in the sound. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Taylor Swift’s New Song ‘Lover’ Reveals a Lot About Her Relationship With Joe Alwyn," 16 Aug. 2019 Her fiance drives to Canton, a commute that’s proved to be longer in the morning than his former route, but shorter in the evening. Boston.com Real Estate, "Home buyers weary of Greater Boston prices are slipping south to Rhode Island," 14 Aug. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Perhaps the Bearcats' successful run by Desmond Ridder in a similar situation earlier on the drive weighed into Fickell's fatal call. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "What we learned in Cincinnati Bearcats' loss at Ohio State," 8 Sep. 2019 The opening drive culminated in a one-yard score from Ingram, and the second and third only added to the fire, both ending in deep scores from Brown. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Ravens’ Offense Explodes Out of the Gate Against the Dolphins," 8 Sep. 2019 Late in the third quarter Saturday, Wilson looked on the verge of leading Kentucky on a second consecutive scoring drive when he was caught from behind by Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Turan Rush at the end of a 19-yard run. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Mark Stoops: Terry Wilson's injury does not change goals for Kentucky football," 8 Sep. 2019 For the most part, the UH defense held its own, holding the Panthers to two scoring drives at the end of both halves. Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle, "UH topples Prairie View A&M for first win," 8 Sep. 2019 That kept the drive breathing, leading to a field goal that pushed the score to 20-14. San Diego Union-Tribune, "This Ryan Agnew ‘magnificent’ in Aztecs’ historic win against UCLA," 7 Sep. 2019 Kyle Hutchinson, a Lions senior lineman, deflected Thompson’s pass on fourth-down and the Lions used a 66-yard drive to find the end zone when Kent carried the ball 11 yards to get the Lions on the board. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Football: Liberty falls to visiting Linganore in season opener," 7 Sep. 2019 With the game tied at 21-21 in the fourth quarter, the Black Knights embarked on a 17-play, 65-yard drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock before an Oklahoma interception forced overtime. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Army won't catch Michigan by surprise, but knows it can still win in Big House," 7 Sep. 2019 New Town had just minus-8 yards of total offense in the first quarter but put together a long drive starting from its 30 on the next possession. Jeff Seidel, baltimoresun.com, "Defense leads No. 9 Milford Mill past New Town, 14-12, in nail-biting opener," 7 Sep. 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

27 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

Comments on drive

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