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 combination results-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

Decades of tests by independent, non-litigation driven experts and institutions repeatedly confirm that Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer. Julie Mazziotta,, "Jury Awards Woman with Terminal Cancer $12M in Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Colgate," 12 June 2019 Diversity in Music Award Recognizes individual artists or female-driven musical collaborations for their contribution to advancing a culturally diverse and inclusive music industry. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Australian Women in Music Awards 2019 Are Coming," 11 June 2019 Indeed, like everyone else at this weekend’s gala, McCaskey acknowledged the promising present of these Bears with a young and driven team that can realistically think about winning it all. Dan Wiederer,, "'Like a happy dream that just keeps going on': Virginia McCaskey gets emotional at Bears100 Celebration," 9 June 2019 Companies have been pouring billions into the development of self-driving vehicles, which technologists believe can one day operate more safely, reliably and inexpensively than human-driven cars. Greg Bensinger, WSJ, "Uber to Resume Self-Driving Car Tests in Pittsburgh After Hiatus," 20 Dec. 2018 Rather, President Obama’s war on coal was the extension of an equally aggressive climate-change-driven regulatory campaign at the state level. Paul H. Tice, WSJ, "Trump’s Half-Measures Won’t Save the Coal Industry," 16 Sep. 2018 The variously slinky and driven choreography features such sidelights as pratfalls, teasingly competitive back-and-forth accents, sassy shoulder shimmies and snappy hand jives. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘Minimalism and Me’ Review: Twyla Tharp Tells Her Story," 19 Nov. 2018 That sensor bar is also mirrored on the back, and all around the car is a 360-degree strip of LED lights that are used to communicate the car’s intent to pedestrians and human-driven cars. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Volvo’s 360c concept has softened my cynicism about autonomous cars," 6 Sep. 2018 Marcus Rashford whipped a free kick over the crossbar with nine minutes to play, before substitute Dries Mertens saw his driven effort saved by Pickford at the other end., "England 0-1 Belgium: Januzaj Stunner Seals Group G Success for Red Devils as Three Lions Falter," 28 June 2018

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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Statistics for driven

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for driven

The first known use of driven was in 1797

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More Definitions for driven



English Language Learners Definition of driven

: very determined to succeed

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More from Merriam-Webster on driven

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with driven

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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