Thesaurus

drive

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of drive

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to urge, push, or force onward
  • cowboys drove the herd of cattle from San Antonio to San Francisco

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2 to travel by a motorized vehicle
  • I'm going to drive across the country—want to come?

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

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4 to cause (a person) to give in to pressure
  • the corrupt governor was driven out of office

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6 to set or keep in motion
  • this motor drives the gears, which then turn the shaft

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7 to proceed or move quickly
  • the runner drove past the finish line and then came to a dead stop

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Phrases Synonymous with drive

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Antonyms for drive

drive

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of drive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a passage cleared for public vehicular travel
  • raced our motorcycles along the drive

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2 a series of activities undertaken to achieve a goal
  • a fund-raising drive for the school's marching band

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5 readiness to engage in daring or difficult activity
  • a great opportunity for a sales representative who is full of drive

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About drive

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

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Time Traveler for drive

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Drive.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/drive. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on drive

Dictionary: Definition of drive

Medical Dictionary: Definition of drive

Nglish: Translation of drive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drive

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