drive 1 of 2

as in to run
to urge, push, or force onward cowboys drove the herd of cattle from San Antonio to San Francisco

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in to motor
to travel by a motorized vehicle I'm going to drive across the country—want to come?

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in to push
to apply force to (someone or something) so that it moves in front of one drove the plunger into the opening

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 2


as in campaign
a series of activities undertaken to achieve a goal a fund-raising drive for the school's marching band

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

How does the verb drive differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of drive are actuate, impel, and move. While all these words mean "to set or keep in motion," drive implies imparting forward and continuous motion and often stresses the effect rather than the impetus.

a ship driven aground by hurricane winds

When might actuate be a better fit than drive?

The words actuate and drive can be used in similar contexts, but actuate stresses transmission of power so as to work or set in motion.

turbines actuated by waterpower

When would impel be a good substitute for drive?

While the synonyms impel and drive are close in meaning, impel is usually figurative and suggests a great motivating impetus.

a candidate impelled by ambition

When could move be used to replace drive?

In some situations, the words move and drive are roughly equivalent. However, move is very general and implies no more than the fact of changing position.

moved the furniture

Thesaurus Entries Near drive

Cite this Entry

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

More from Merriam-Webster on drive

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