Meaning of DRIVE in English

I. ˈdrīv verb

( drove ˈdrōv ; or archaic drave ˈdrāv ; or dialect driv ˈdriv ; or druv ˈdrəv ; driv·en ˈdrivən also -iv ə m or -ib ə m ; or archaic drove or dialect driv or druv ; driv·ing ˈdrīviŋ ; drives ˈdrīvz)

Etymology: Middle English driven, from Old English drīfan; akin to Old High German trīban to drive, Old Norse drīfa to dash (said of spray), Gothic dreiban to drive, and perhaps to Lithuanian dribti to fall in mushy flakes (said of snow)

transitive verb

1. : to set and keep in motion or in action through application of some amount of force:

a. : to impart an onward or forward motion to by expenditure of physical force : propel

he slammed the door and drove the bolt home

cheerily drove his pen afresh — George Meredith

as white as the driven snow

the trade winds drive the equatorial currents

driving his canoe onto the beach

b. : to impart violent motion or great impetus to : hurl, thrust, plunge, or press irresistibly — used with a following preposition or adverb indicating the direction

a tackler should drive his body so as to hit the ballcarrier just above the knees

he drove the muzzle hard into the man's face — Max Peacock

specifically : vaporize — used with off

heat will drive off the quicksilver

c. : to urge along (as cattle) guiding and often goading

cowboys drove herds north

prisoners were driven onto barges

d. : to cause to penetrate with force

as a man would drive a nail — J.G.Frazer

: plunge forcibly

I drove my sword through his heart — Padraic Colum

e. : to direct hostile force or a strong offensive movement against : exert strong effective pressure against — used with a separative expression

many attempts to drive the British out of Egypt

the task of driving the invaders back across the border

with the German eagle driven from the seas — R.W.Van Alstyne

the noise would drive you out of the place — Ellwood Kirby

f. : to constrain to go or to remove by reason of superior authority or influence or because of circumstantial pressure (as political or economic)

engaged in a long attempt to drive Burr from public life — Nathan Schachner

this wetback competition annually drives thousands of Texans as far north as Oregon in search of work — D.L.Graham

also : to force the removal or banishment of

radio has driven the newspaper extra from the streets

g. : to supply with motive power

machines driven by clockwork

whether it was being driven as a generator or was running as a motor — F.A.Annett

: set or keep in operation

drove their mills with water power


a. : to direct the motions and course of (a draft animal)

b. : navigate

drive a watercraft

c. : to operate the controls of (a locomotive) or to operate the mechanism and controls and direct the course of (as a motor vehicle or speedboat)

d. : to convey in a vehicle

he had to drive his produce to market before daylight

e. : to guide a vehicle along or through

drove the river road in all kinds of weather

drove creek beds and sidehills to reach his backcountry patients

f. : to own and use (as an automobile of an indicated kind)

he always drove a sedan

g. : to float (logs) down a stream


a. : to carry on or carry through energetically

shipowners were driving a roaring trade in oriental ports

b. : to carry through to a conclusion or to completion in spite of hindrances

they will not give up their bargaining advantage without driving a hard bargain politically — Cecil Hobbs

specifically : to lay out and construct by the methods of engineering

superhighway being driven across the state

c. : to build (a highway, canal, railroad) along a projected course

4. : to subject to effective pressure or compulsion to act in a certain way or to submit to a certain condition: as

a. : to exert inescapable or coercive pressure on (a person) : motivate or incite irresistibly : coerce , constrain , oblige — used often with a following preposition or infinitive indicating the direction of constraint

hunger drove him to steal

to make us believe that his characters are fellow beings driven by their own passions and idiosyncracies — Virginia Woolf

he used only persuasion, for he knew she could not be driven

a wayward genius who is driven to incredible writing feats by pressure of debts — Leslie Rees

economic insecurity that drives young people into vocational training — A.W.Griswold

b. : to oblige to suffer or have recourse to a mood or mental state

to what depths of bitterness she had been driven — Herbert Read

continuing pressure of the unsolved problem drives the society … to a precipitate and spurious defense mechanism — Weston La Barre

specifically : to compel to undergo or suffer a change of state

driven desperate by the pressures of drab life — Evelyn Eaton

a stupid cocotte who has begun by driving him mad with jealousy — Edmund Wilson

c. : to urge relentlessly to continuous exertion

he drives them hard with five-mile runs before breakfast — Harry Gordon

I have been ruthlessly driven — hence this silence — H.J.Laski

: press or spur to greater intensity of determined striving

a tired spirit driving body and nerves to an effort they were crying to avoid — Fred Majdalany

believed men were driven hardest by ambition — M.A.Kline

he lacked the will that drives one to disregard human factors, to crush all who opposed him

d. : to press or force (something) inflexibly into a certain activity, course, direction, or state

forces which had driven the tide of population across the Alleghenies — R.A.Billington

discipline required to drive the bill through congress

advised against driving the party underground

specifically : to subject to pressure to bring about change either up or down

going to try to drive interest rates down which meant driving up the capital value of existing loans — Harold Wincott

e. : to project, inject, or impress incisively

only a few are willing to drive this doctrine straight through to its logical conclusion — Clinton Rossiter

the basic point at last is driven solidly home in a 56-page booklet — R.D.Darrell

the laconic or sententious phrase to drive home and imbed what might otherwise be lost or scattered — B.N.Cardozo

f. : to cause (something intangible) to dissipate or vanish decisively through the pressure of some moving power or influence

as the corroborative detail drove doubts from his mind — T.B.Costain

a sad day for the United States if the tradition of dissent were driven out of the universities — J.B.Conant

specifically : to dispel and replace

resolved that sound Latin … should drive out, for literary purposes, the Italian vernaculars and medieval Latin — G.C.Sellery

5. archaic : bring

drive bad luck

: cast

drive not the fault on him — Robert Bridges †1930


a. obsolete : to cause to pass

drive the tedious hours away — John Dryden

b. : protract , defer

drive bedtime

7. obsolete : to conclude from premises : deduce


a. obsolete : to pursue (game) as a hunter

b. : to cause (as game animals) to move in a desired direction (as toward waiting hunters)

beaters drove the birds toward the guns

also : to drive game in (a particular place)

we will drive the small woods by the stream tomorrow

— compare stalk , walk up

c. obsolete : to clear or strip (as a region) of animals or other property ; also : to drive off : seize

drive animals


a. : to advance (as a tunnel or a horizontal or upwardly inclined mine passage) by cutting and excavating

b. : produce

drive a well

10. : to propel (an object of play) swiftly (as by a powerful stroke or throw):

a. : to strike (a bowled cricket ball) with the bat so as to propel in a forward direction

b. : to send (a croquet ball) to some desired position by striking another ball held in contact

c. : to play (a golf ball) from the tee especially with a full stroke made with a driver

d. : to hit (a tennis ball) on the bounce with a below-shoulder-level swing and with top spin — distinguished from chop, slice, and volley

e. : to return (a shuttlecock) with a low hard shot parallel to the ground — compare smash

f. : to cause (a run or runner) to be scored in baseball especially by making a hit — usually used with in

g. : to force (a billiard ball) to strike one or more cushions and return to the desired position for the next shot

intransitive verb


a. : to dash, plunge, or surge ahead rapidly or violently

the halfback drove through the line

he drove rudely past her into the room — E.F.McGuire

b. : to rush along thrusting or striking with force against any obstruction

he crossed the river in the midst of driving ice

a meteor driving toward the earth

the slanting rain, which drove faster every minute — Ellen Glasgow

c. : to press a hostile attack

the division drove some 400 miles

d. : to penetrate with force

the harpoon drove deep

2. : to move to leeward or with the tide out of control by rudder, sail, or engines ; also : to carry excessive sail

3. : to launch a blow or missile or discharge a bullet — often used with a following at and a preceding let

just as a snarling Queen's Ranger drove at him — F.V.W.Mason

he then seized the shotgun and let drive with both barrels


a. : to strive determinedly on a course or toward an objective

try to drive toward a generalization and a hypothesis — Lionel Trilling

driving through obstacles — Time

the decision to drive ahead with all speed for the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb — W.H.Chamberlin

also : to make a strong effort

the justices are driving hard to clean up pending cases — Christian Science Monitor

b. : to spur oneself or others to strenuous effort or to greater intensity of physical or mental exertion

even after reaching the top he continues to drive


a. : to guide a horse-drawn vehicle

b. : to operate and steer a motor vehicle

road signs warning motorists to drive slow

c. : to have oneself carried in a vehicle

I drove there with a friend and flew back by myself

6. archaic : to levy a distress to obtain satisfaction of a claim for rent : distrain

7. : to drive a mine passage

8. : to drive an object of play (as a golf ball)

9. : to perform music with a strong rhythmic impulse : play with momentum

Synonyms: see move

- drive at

II. noun

( -s )

1. : an act of driving:

a. : a short trip in a vehicle (as a carriage or automobile) wholly or partly under one's control as distinguished from a vehicle (as a train) under the control of another

an afternoon drive along the lakefront

a 2-hour drive to the next city

b. : an overland journey in a vehicle especially along a highway for a long distance

a cross-state drive

the third day's drive became wearisome

c. : an urging and gathering together of animals (as cattle or sheep) from a wide area ; also : the animals gathered for capture, slaughter, or branding

d. : a driving of cattle or sheep overland

the long drive lingered only in the memories and imaginations of old cowhands — D.B.Davis

e. : a hunt or shoot in which the game is driven within range past the weapons of hunters ; also : the mass of animals so driven

f. : the guiding of logs downstream to a mill ; also : the floating logs amassed in a drive


(1) : the act or an instance of driving an object of play (as a ball)

the drive is called the basic scoring shot in cricket

a low drive that hit the net

(2) : the flight of a hard-hit ball or shuttlecock

his solid drives range between 220 and 240 yards

h. : the forward thrust or propulsive force of a boat under way

i. Britain : a stately or ceremonious public procession


a. : a private road for vehicles affording access to a residence or other buildings

the house stands at the end of a long drive surrounded by spacious lawns and gardens — American Guide Series: Florida

: driveway 2

b. : a road for leisure driving especially in a park or along a scenic route

the highway now skirts the lakeshore with all the fresh beauty of a seacoast drive — American Guide Series: Vermont

c. : an urban street or boulevard

Morningside Drive overlooking the Hudson

3. : a tract over which game is driven : the site of an organized hunt

4. : an offensive, aggressive, or expansionist move

in the path of the Soviet drive toward the Adriatic — H.C.Wolfe

both touchdowns capped long drives

especially : a strong military attack against enemy-held terrain

a swift nine-month drive from the Normandy bridgehead … across France and Germany and into Austria — Current Biography

5. : the state of being hurried and under pressure

elude the ruthless drive of work and worry — S.H.Adams

I am in such a drive that I can't expatiate — H.J.Laski

6. : a driven mine passage or tunnel

7. : strike 14

8. : a systematic effort strenuously participated in by a group or organized by a group and insistently urged upon a community or a nation toward attainment of a certain objective or furtherance of some special design : an intensive campaign

an annual drive for membership in the league

a propaganda drive aimed at undermining our prestige abroad

sparked drives that raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars for veterans' hospitals and … relief — J.A.Morris b. 1904

the drive for national independence has had a long history in Indochina — Cecil Hobbs

9. : a progressive game (as of whist or bridge)

10. : inciting or impelling character or quality:

a. : an urgent basic or instinctual need pressing for satisfaction : a physiological tension, lack, or imbalance (as a state of hunger or thirst) impelling the organism to activity

those sexual drives which are such a fertile source of conflict among most vertebrates — Ralph Linton

habits attached to the hunger drive

also : a tendency or disposition to act following or as a result of a deprivation or need

b. : a powerfully impelling culturally acquired concern, interest, or longing that incites one to unremitting action

possessed with a drive for perfection — Time

the integrating drive or disposition that gives a life history its continuity or a personality its consistency and integrity — H.J.Muller

a prisoner of the old national and imperialist drives — Partisan Review

“Asia for the Asians” … represents the drive of millions upon millions of people — W.O.Douglas

c. : dynamic quality marked by initiative, promptness of decision, abundance of concentrated energy, and indomitable persistence in carrying through an undertaking toward accomplishment : vigorous enterprise : the amount of energy and persistence evidenced in a given activity : élan , push

his drive and enthusiasm overcame all obstacles — Times Literary Supplement

a tremendous energy drive that keeps him in a constant state of high gear — Martin Gardner

the city had lost … the surging drive that supposedly was so characteristically American — Harold Sinclair

concerned with the dynamic core of a society, its central impulse and drive — Charles Maughan

d. : a quality of sustained vitality and intensity of expression in intellectual or artistic composition or performance

he developed irresistible drive in the performance of plays — Sheldon Cheney

a stronger drive in the big climaxes — Irving Kolodin

e. : dramatic intensity and suspensiveness that captures attention

f. : a strong rhythmic impulse communicated in musical performance


a. : the means for giving motion to a machine or machine part

belt drive

electric drive

also : a method of driving machines

a group drive

b. : the means by which the propulsive power of an automobile is applied to the road

front-wheel drive

four-wheel drive

c. : the means by which the propulsion of an automotive vehicle is controlled and directed

a left-hand drive

also : the place where the operator sits to drive

an enclosed drive

12. : the pressure that causes oil or other fluid to enter a well from the surrounding rock strata

water drive

gas-cap drive

13. : an offering of goods at a low price (as in reducing inventory)

Synonyms: see vigor

III. adjective

: used in or for driving : serving to drive : impelling

a drive chain

IV. verb

- drive home

V. noun

: a device including an electric motor and heads or a laser for reading or writing on magnetic or optical media (as tapes or disks)

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.