\ ˈdrōv How to pronounce drove (audio) \

Definition of drove

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a group of animals driven or moving in a body
2 : a large number : crowd usually used in plural especially with in came in droves


Definition of drove (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of drive

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Synonyms for drove

Synonyms: Noun

army, bike [chiefly Scottish], cram, crowd, crush, flock, herd, horde, host, legion, mass, mob, multitude, press, rout, scrum, swarm, throng

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Examples of drove in a Sentence


people flocked to the annual festival in droves

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some Brits took matters into their own hands and headed to supermarkets in droves, even though their worst fears did not (yet) materialize: Brexit is now delayed until Halloween, unless a deal is signed earlier. Rick Noack, The Seattle Times, "Switzerland wants to declare coffee nonessential for human survival," 12 Apr. 2019 Commenters came out in droves on Monday (December 10) during the Duchess of Sussex's appearance at the Fashion Awards in London. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Is Being Mommy-Shamed and She Hasn't Even Given Birth Yet," 12 Dec. 2018 Adding to the gloom, an outbreak of bubonic plague spread throughout the Eastern Roman Empire in 542 A.D., killing droves and giving way to an economic downturn that lasted 30 years. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Identify 536 A.D. as The Absolute Worst Year Ever," 20 Nov. 2018 But theatergoers were walking out on it in exasperated droves and writing angry letters to The New York Times, which had happily endorsed the production. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Screwball Eggheads Tear Up the Library in ‘Travesties’," 24 Apr. 2018 Fans showed up in droves on the Rock Hall's own fan ballot, as Bon Jovi easily outdistanced the other nominees, beating out second place - and fellow inductee - the Moody Blues by more than 200,000 votes. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland.com, "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2018: Bon Jovi knows fans put them in the Hall: Inductee profile," 8 Apr. 2018 Two weeks into the shutdown, reports suggested droves of TSA workers were calling out sick, citing fears of working for free. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Passenger Accidentally Brought Firearm on Flight, TSA Confirms," 14 Jan. 2019 The slightly cooler weather following a high of 97 degrees Sunday — sharing the title of hottest temperature for that day with 2012 — coaxed out droves of people who had avoided the scorching weather. Tessa Weinberg, chicagotribune.com, "People flock to the beaches to beat record-setting Memorial Day heat," 28 May 2018 Last year's 1,400% surge in bitcoin lured droves of investors into the virtual currency and competitors such as Ether and Ripple. latimes.com, "Take a wild guess: Crypto confusion reigns as tax deadline nears," 15 Apr. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for drove


Middle English, from Old English drāf, from drīfan to drive — more at drive

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Dictionary Entries near drove


drought spot




drove road


Statistics for drove

Last Updated

28 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for drove

The first known use of drove was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for drove



English Language Learners Definition of drove

: a large group of people or animals that move or act together


\ ˈdrōv How to pronounce drove (audio) \

Kids Definition of drove

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large group of animals or people moving or acting together droves of shoppers


Kids Definition of drove (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of drive

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More from Merriam-Webster on drove

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drove

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drove

Spanish Central: Translation of drove

Nglish: Translation of drove for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drove for Arabic Speakers

Comments on drove

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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