driv·​en | \ ˈdri-vən How to pronounce driven (audio) \

Definition of driven

1a : having a compulsive or urgent quality a driven sense of obligation
b : determined to succeed : highly energetic and motivated … a versatile yacht captained by a driven skipper who has won everything in the sport …— Herb McCormick Kinsey redoubled his efforts. If he had been driven before, now there was a manic quality to his work.— David Halberstam
2 : propelled or motivated by something used in combinationresults-drivena character-driven drama

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Other Words from driven

drivenness \ ˈdri-​vən-​nəs How to pronounce drivenness (audio) \ noun
He was born two months premature and she has never stopped asking herself whether it was her drivenness, her refusal to rest, that caused it. — Michele Magwood

Examples of driven in a Sentence

They are driven, successful people. a man with a driven need to be loved or liked by everyone
Recent Examples on the Web Platt will play a driven high school student who is determined to work his way to the presidency. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "Some of This Fall’s Most Buzzed About TV Shows Will Feature Familiar Faces," 16 Sep. 2019 At Harvard, Schiff struck classmates as sharp and driven but not politically active., "Adam Schiff, who steered clear of Harvard Law drama, now at the center of impeachment inquiry - The Boston Globe," 2 Oct. 2019 She was known for being a force of nature, unusually organized and driven and was affectionately called Hurricane Lorraine., "Lorraine Vines," 1 Oct. 2019 The incident came a day after a 38-year-old father was shot dead by a soldier at a protest Tuesday night, marking the first such fatality since the economically driven demonstrations against the government engulfed the country on Oct. 17. Washington Post, "Lebanon protests sliding into violence amid impasse," 13 Nov. 2019 There’s a notion, usually incorrect, that modern, analytically driven front offices dictate strategy to the manager., "Dave Dombrowski arrived in 2015 with the Sox in the process of finishing in last place for the second season in a row. When Ben Cherington got the job in 2011, it was after the worst September collapse in history.," 29 Oct. 2019 When thinking about your own productivity, moments that are characterized by high task orientation feel driven and purposeful. Akhila Satish, Quartz at Work, "Your productivity hacks are useless without this one essential theory," 28 Oct. 2019 Friends and acquaintances describe a driven man with a fierce intellect and a healthy ego. oregonlive, "Portland hotel magnate’s stunning climb to Trump inner circle lands him in impeachment scandal," 29 Sep. 2019 But Schulz soon began fleshing out his cast with more eccentric, more specific, more driven characters: Schroeder, piano prodigy and Beethoven superfan; Lucy, vain fussbudget and perpetually aggrieved scold; Linus, thumb-sucking philosopher. Bruce Handy, The Atlantic, "The Peanuts Characters Aren’t Ordinary Kids," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'driven.' 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 driven

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for driven

see drive entry 1

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Time Traveler for driven

Time Traveler

The first known use of driven was in 1797

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Statistics for driven

Last Updated

25 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Driven.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for driven


How to pronounce driven (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of driven

: very determined to succeed

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More from Merriam-Webster on driven

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for driven

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with driven

Nglish: Translation of driven for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of driven for Arabic Speakers

Comments on driven

What made you want to look up driven? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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