Definition of drive in English:



  • 1no object, usually with adverbial of direction Operate and control the direction and speed of a motor vehicle.

    ‘he got into his car and drove off’
    ‘they drove back into town’
    • ‘I doubt there is a single person driving a car today who hasn't exceeded the speed limit or driven without a seatbelt at times, even though we all know we shouldn't.’
    • ‘His business was fairly close to our office, so I drove over there to look at it.’
    • ‘As she started to flag down passing traffic, her abductor drove off at high speed in her green car.’
    • ‘Motorists driving under the influence of drugs are being targeted in a new poster campaign.’
    • ‘During this campaign 245 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.’
    • ‘It really is quite simple - if drivers kept to the speed limits and drove in accordance with the Highway Code there would not be the need for such measures.’
    • ‘The driver then drove off in the direction of Martin's Lane where it rammed a police car before stopping.’
    • ‘If we're out in the car, lost in an area we've never visited before, he would rather we drive round aimlessly for hours than ask directions.’
    • ‘How many times have you driven past a speed camera located on a well lit, straight A road that has a higher than average traffic speed?’
    • ‘The boys immediately raced to Ryan's car and he drove at full speed towards the hospital.’
    • ‘The driver, who was also wearing a balaclava, drove away at speed.’
    • ‘One by one they climbed into the car, and drove silently back to school.’
    • ‘The occupants of the car drove off at high speed, crashing into a small bridge on the estate, before heading towards Castledermot.’
    • ‘Both offenders then got into the car and drove off in the direction of Church Lane.’
    • ‘Mrs Welsh started up the car, and they drove off in the direction of Alison's home.’
    • ‘I swung my car around and drove back in the direction I'd just come from.’
    • ‘Each in a different car, they drive off in opposite directions after having embraced one last time.’
    • ‘Residents say that their cars are being hit and scraped by motorists driving too fast along the road.’
    • ‘I climb out and watch him drive away like a maniac as I shake my head in disapproval.’
    • ‘He got out to see what was going on but as he did so they jumped into the car and drove away at speed.’
    operate, pilot, steer, handle, manage
    travel by car, go by car, motor
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a motor vehicle) travel under the control of a driver.
      ‘a car drives up, and a man gets out’
      ‘a stream of black cars drove by’
      • ‘Michael claims that while in Damascus he saw three separate convoys of luxury Iraqi licensed vehicles, driving under armed escort.’
    2. 1.2with object Own or use (a specified type of car)
      ‘Sue drives an estate car’
      • ‘The child was in collision with a black Chrysler Voyager estate car driven by a 27-year-old Basildon woman, who was unhurt.’
      • ‘Traffic chaos has frustrated drivers, both those driving private cars as well as public transportation drivers.’
      • ‘Well, if you drive a company car you don't have to worry about insurance, road tax, servicing or repairs and maintenance.’
      • ‘Philip, from Chadderton, near Oldham, had restored and driven old cars for many years.’
      • ‘If you have never driven a car with anti-lock brakes, sure to get training on proper use.’
      • ‘They drive expensive cars and SUVs, and there are just as many female drivers as male ones.’
      • ‘Happily, this is not a problem with the estate, because salesmen don't drive estate cars.’
      • ‘A lot of us enjoy driving and prefer to drive a car that makes a journey a rewarding experience.’
      • ‘The government is all to quick to penalise motorists for driving a car which is not in a safe condition.’
      • ‘‘The car is definitely the most powerful car I've ever driven,’ said Speed, 22.’
      • ‘If you are going to drive this car, know your limits, and respect its power.’
      • ‘Fans at the San Marino Grand Prix can finally feel what it's like to drive Michael Schumacher's Ferrari.’
      • ‘I am tired of short people who can't see over the steering wheel driving large cars.’
      • ‘In a sentence, he summed up the pros and cons of driving a soft-top car in Ireland.’
      maintain, keep, own, possess, have
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    3. 1.3no object Be licensed or competent to drive a motor vehicle.
      ‘I take it you can drive?’
      • ‘There are quite a few elderly people in the village who don't drive.’
      • ‘We've never bothered with a car. I don't drive, and we can get a bus into town if we really need to.’
      • ‘I can't drive, have no interest in cars and don't have any sense of direction.’
      • ‘Nakita could drive, had her license and everything, but she liked walking and it wasn't very far.’
      • ‘Occasionally my friend Sarah would come over, but she lived a while away and couldn't drive, so that was never too often.’
      • ‘I cannot drive, but my daughter takes me everywhere so I have given the car to her.’
    4. 1.4with object Convey (someone) in a vehicle, especially a private car.
      ‘his wife drove him to Regent's Park’
      • ‘The reasons why parents drive their children to school are varied.’
      • ‘After the evening performance the night before, a chauffeur drove her from Bath to a suite at an airport hotel.’
      • ‘Julia watches as her chauffeur drives Morgan out of the estate and the limousine speeds away into the distance.’
      • ‘Some may wonder why a sweet girl like Elizabeth would possibly need a bodyguard who drove her around in a limo.’
      • ‘When the time came for Caroline's baby to be born, the commanding officer's wife drove her to hospital and stayed throughout her labour.’
      • ‘At Chelsea there was a chauffeur to drive the directors around because of problems with parking.’
      • ‘They drove her to a parking lot near to the marina, and she mutely followed them down to the dock.’
      • ‘But when he decided to make a brash stab at the sports-car market, economics drove him to Canada.’
      • ‘My wife drove him back to Girona where the vet was waiting for her call.’
      • ‘It seems serious, so his wife decides to drive him to hospital.’
      • ‘Anyway, when we were sharing a flat in London I carried on driving him to clubs on a Friday night.’
      • ‘Later that morning Akbay went to Tastan's house in a Honda and then drove him to a lay-by in Faversham.’
      • ‘We helped him into the Jeep, and Burke drove him to the battalion aid station.’
      • ‘The three of us squeezed in the back of my mom's Honda and she drove us to our high school.’
      • ‘Hank's wife drove him to the office because he suddenly became weak and lightheaded.’
      • ‘And poor Paul, he probably felt like a chauffeur, always driving her wherever she needed to go.’
      • ‘We made our way back to his car and his chauffeur drove us home.’
      • ‘At seven-thirty Brett drove the girls to the mall since Brooke's jeep was in the shop.’
      • ‘Earlier in the evening I had napped in the back seat as Odysea drove us across New York State.’
      • ‘When we had finished shopping, Jake left to join the guys at a private sports court and Cynthia drove me to a spa to meet the girls.’
      chauffeur, run, give someone a lift, take, bring, ferry, transport, convey, carry
      View synonyms
  • 2with object and adverbial of direction Propel or carry along by force in a specified direction.

    ‘the wind will drive you onshore’
    • ‘By morning, the wind was driving icy pellets against the windows.’
    • ‘As the rain bucketed down, driven horizontally by a southeast gale, he decided the walk would go ahead.’
    • ‘The wind was driving the rain at acute angles, and the windows were shuddering from the thunder.’
    • ‘Flooding was a problem in some coastal areas where the storm's high wind drove waves onto shore and over seawalls.’
    • ‘Rain fell from overcast skies and gale force winds drove large waves on to the beaches of Normandy as dawn broke on Monday June 5, 1944.’
    • ‘Small clouds of snow were driven into his eyes and began to skitter up his nose.’
    • ‘Attempts to re-light the boiler failed, and now the vessel was in real trouble; drifting, powerless, pitching and rolling, driven by wind and tide towards a sandbank in the dark.’
    • ‘He explained that power lines were particularly vulnerable to wet snow driven by high winds clinging to cables and bringing them down.’
    • ‘The rocks were encased in crusted snow and the wind was driving spindrift across the open slopes.’
    • ‘The fires knocked out a number of vital systems, including main propulsion, and she was left wallowing in 25 ft waves driven by gale-force winds.’
    • ‘The insurance companies in their standard policies exclude damage resulting from water, even if that water is driven by wind.’
    • ‘In York rain and sleet driven by gale force winds caught many workers on their way home the previous evening.’
    • ‘Large surface currents are mainly driven by winds that blow year round.’
    • ‘The game was played in dreadful conditions with a strong breeze driving the heavy rain into the Keane's Road goal.’
    • ‘It was cold and dry, and their footprints were quickly obliterated by the powdery snow driven along by the gusting wind.’
    • ‘A number of experts have stated that high winds could have been a factor in driving the ship off course.’
    • ‘Angry, bitter wind drove frozen rain hard into the window, rattling the panes.’
    • ‘The black cloud driven by the winds spread above the fields as far as the eyes of the anxious farmers could see.’
    • ‘Storm surges are unusual elevations in sea level that are driven by anomalous wind stresses and low atmospheric pressures associated with storms.’
    • ‘Hard rains driven by high winds slashed through the camp.’
    power, propel, move, push
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    1. 2.1no object (of wind, rain, or snow) move or fall with great force.
      ‘the snow drove against him’
      • ‘With a swirling wind driving into their faces, the second-half promised to be a stiffer test for City's defensive resolve and so it proved.’
      • ‘He frowned as he stared out the window at the sleet driving against the window pane.’
      • ‘The rain drove down harder, and Tilkin cleared mud and water from his eyes long enough to see the woods open up before him.’
      • ‘The rain was actually driving horizontally with these incredibly dark skies and no visibility.’
      • ‘Fierce headwinds driving against currents produced steep-fronted waves that smashed into the fleet as it struggled to reach the finish line.’
      • ‘Two days out from Almeria we got caught in a brewing gale driving in from the west.’
      • ‘Rain drove in great sheets across the bow as the ship struggled to drop anchor in the outer harbor.’
      • ‘Ferocious winds howled and heavy rain drove through the Jade Stadium as the Lions were humiliated - beaten in all areas.’
      • ‘The 30 to 40 miles per hour wind drove perpendicular across my path making it impossible to stay on the road even if I could see it.’
      • ‘In the distance, Rossiter could see the rain driving straight down and growing closer.’
      • ‘Ankle deep mud from melting snow, ice covered pools and hail and snow driving into the faces of runners on Mickleden Edge.’
      • ‘We saw her as we pulled out of our drive. She had her head down as the snow was driving in the wind.’
      • ‘Edward IV followed up the following day, his initial success assisted by flurries of snow driving into the enemy.’
      • ‘For two more days the winds beat against the house, and the snow and ice drove against the windows.’
    2. 2.2with object (of a source of power) provide the energy to set and keep (an engine or piece of machinery) in motion.
      ‘turbines driven by steam’
      • ‘The whole of the mechanism was powered by heavy weights which drove the cog wheel.’
      • ‘These engines use the heat of nuclear fission to drive steam turbines, which in turn charge the batteries.’
      • ‘He produced a steam pressure gauge to record pressure in a cylinder and a rotary engine which could drive various forms of machinery.’
      • ‘This energy trapped in the reactor is used as a heat source to drive a steam turbine and create electricity.’
      • ‘The heat is not wasted but is used to make steam that drives a turbine that generates electricity.’
      • ‘All of the machinery was driven by a steam engine in the basement of the machine shop.’
      • ‘Water power will again turn the mill wheel and drive the turbine to provide electricity to light the building.’
      • ‘The wind turbine drives the pump at varying speeds, pumping more in high winds than in low winds.’
      • ‘Steam power drove threshing mills and other barn machinery.’
      • ‘New machinery driven by steam power was introduced, and railways and canals were being created.’
      • ‘The current is channeled to an 82-hp electric motor that drives the car.’
      • ‘The rare 350 horsepower engine was used to drive woollen weaving machinery in Bradley Mill until the 1970s.’
      • ‘The hydraulic power-steering pump is driven by the engine via a rubber belt that over time will wear out and become shiny.’
      • ‘It uses heat from the sun to create steam, which drives giant turbines that generate electricity.’
      • ‘That change is equivalent to the piston movement in a car's engine which ultimately drives the wheels round.’
      • ‘There are also two vacuum pumps, one driven by each engine.’
      • ‘Until the fairgrounds started to use petrol and diesel engines their rides were driven by steam.’
      • ‘Boiler water is used primarily to drive steam turbines in electric power generating plants.’
      • ‘The engine is front mounted and the car is driven through a rear-mounted transaxle.’
      • ‘After landing, the rotors and propellers would automatically fold away, and the machine would use the same engine to drive its wheels.’
    3. 2.3Electronics with object (of a device) power or operate (another device)
      ‘the interface can be used to drive a printer’
      • ‘The device is driven by Sony's own 123MHz ARM-compatible CPU, the Handheld Engine.’
      • ‘LCD monitors operate at low voltages whereas high voltages are required to drive a CRT monitor.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the new transistor simultaneously controls the electric power that drives a lamp and serves as the lamp itself.’
      • ‘Just about every camera in the world these days has a battery, even if it is just to drive the needle on the light meter.’
      • ‘The output is regulated by a single pulse width modulating controller which drives the boost switch and buck switch simultaneously.’
    4. 2.4with object Force (a stake or nail) into place by hitting or pushing it.
      ‘nails are driven through the boards’
      • ‘Put the ladder feet on blocks and then drive a stake into the ground so that it is right behind the ladder feet.’
      • ‘To grip the bone, the screws have to be driven in the right direction.’
      • ‘Long, spiked posts were driven deep into the soft soil by the constant hammering of a solid stone that I had found on the ground.’
      • ‘One person had a bad cold and another had accidentally driven a nail into his foot at work and Saturday was to be therefore spent getting tetanus injections.’
      • ‘If you had driven a stake through Baker's heart at that moment, you couldn't have caused a greater wound.’
      • ‘Secure the board to the frame using small finish nails driven part way into the inside frame edges.’
      • ‘Hidden nailing is where nails are driven into the groove of the plank and covered by the tongue of the next plank and so on.’
      • ‘One 4.5-inch iron nail had been driven through a wooden board and then through both his heel bones.’
      • ‘The nail was driven into his political coffin on Friday as a string of high - level officials abandoned him.’
      • ‘We all drove a lot of nails into the wall and have hung up all Christmas stockings on the wall.’
      • ‘Where the two diagonal strings cross, drive a stake into the ground to mark the position of the center footing.’
      • ‘Stakes are driven into the ground at the opposite end.’
      • ‘Hence the decision of the union bureaucracy to drive a stake into the heart of the strike by pulling the pickets at one of the chains.’
      • ‘They drove pegs into his land to stake out claims, and prevented him from entering his fields.’
      • ‘Huge iron pegs were driven into the rock before the base blocks were put in place, and the first 14m of the tower was solid.’
      • ‘Once you've determined the course of the fence, drive a stake in at each corner.’
      • ‘What you want to do is to be able to drive stakes into the ground here.’
      • ‘Then stakes are driven in by hand and the fabric is attached to the stakes, completing the installation.’
      • ‘Stakes were driven in the ground around the perimeter of the footing and then screwed to the screed board at the footing height.’
      • ‘He quickly spun himself around and drove the wooden stake into Riley's chest as Riley tried to fire off a shot.’
      hammer, screw, ram, bang, pound, sink, plunge, thrust, stab, propel, knock, send
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    5. 2.5with object and adverbial Bore (a tunnel)
      ‘an engineer suggested driving a tunnel through the Judean hills’
      • ‘A challenge facing the designers is that the tunnel will be driven through soft ground.’
      • ‘A tunnel was driven into the hill to intersect the copper load which had been located and opened at the top of the hill.’
      • ‘The focus of mining then shifted back to the upper level, and during the 1980s a tunnel was driven northward into the quarry wall.’
      • ‘Second, if the countermine was driven below the mine, the counterminers could spring the end of their gallery, thereby collapsing the mine above.’
      • ‘At the Daly mine they observed work in progress on the tunnel being driven about forty metres below the old workings.’
      • ‘From available evidence, it is believed that the short tunnel was driven prior to 1916 and that no further work was done.’
      • ‘Donnellan and Everette drove the Sheridan tunnel 100 feet farther along the vein and found richer ore.’
      • ‘Almost as soon as work began above ground, work also began on driving a tunnel northwards towards the sandstone face of Worsley Delph.’
      drill, pierce, perforate, puncture, punch, cut
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    6. 2.6with object (in ball games) hit or kick (the ball) hard with a free swing of the bat, racket, or foot.
      ‘from the free kick Owen drove the ball past the keeper’
      • ‘Frank Lampard drove a free kick just wide before Kezman drilled a low shot straight into the arms of Howard in the United goal.’
      • ‘He drives the ball from the edge of the box, and it raps the bar once more.’
      • ‘He also has a knack for driving the ball into right field or right-center, which allows the runner to reach third.’
      • ‘About once a game, he drives the ball hard but right into a defender's glove.’
      • ‘He hired a trainer in the off season and lifted weights, giving him the strength to drive the ball better.’
      • ‘Lately, he has been making solid contact but not driving the ball in the air.’
      • ‘Their early attempts came from Peter Hanson who headed over the bar and Ben Furness who drove his free kick wide.’
      • ‘The White Sox pitcher challenged Mantle with a high fastball, and Mickey drove the ball almost out of sight for a three-run homer.’
      • ‘He cut back on to his left foot before driving the ball across for Derek Nicol to head home.’
      • ‘Poor marking by Ilkley allowed Cook to turn and drive the ball high past Smith for a deserved equalising goal.’
      • ‘Guiel, a left-handed batter, has a compact, efficient swing and can drive the ball with power.’
      • ‘From the free kick, Dale Marval drove the ball through the defence and past the keeper into the net.’
      • ‘He usually is late on fastballs and is having trouble driving the ball.’
      • ‘Scouts say he has above-average skills, covers the plate well and can drive the ball the opposite way.’
      • ‘Deco drives a low free kick into the Chelsea box from the left wing, but his delivery is poor and Lampard clears easily.’
      • ‘Paul Evans drove his free kick around the wall, but Alan Gough in the Glens' goal parried the shot and the home defence scrambled it clear.’
      • ‘Nick Klassen took the free kick, driving the ball into the top corner and tying the game 2-2.’
      • ‘He is not an ideal second hitter, because he doesn't drive the ball into the gaps and isn't a run producer.’
      • ‘Players make it to the big leagues because of their ability to drive the ball, not watch it sail past them.’
      • ‘My way of fighting back was to try to drive the ball as hard as I could through the pitcher's box for a base hit.’
    7. 2.7Golf with object Strike (a ball) from the tee, typically with a driver.
      ‘I'm driving the ball really well and my irons are good’
      • ‘If she could learn to drive her golf ball, she could still be a great player.’
      • ‘If you're driving the ball poorly, you don't need statistics to know it.’
      • ‘Two down at the time, Coltart drove his ball into the rough.’
      • ‘But I putted well, I drove the ball well, I did just about everything well.’
      • ‘Wie, who can drive a golf ball 300 + yards, would play from the men's tees at these events.’
  • 3with object and adverbial of direction Urge or force (animals or people) to move in a specified direction.

    ‘they drove a flock of sheep through the centre of the city’
    ‘the French infantry were driven back’
    • ‘The men that drove the cattle were a special breed.’
    • ‘Even when overlanders Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney drove cattle from NSW to Adelaide in 1838, they had more men than saddle horses.’
    • ‘The group took turns driving the dogs, breaking trail and navigating.’
    • ‘Amundsen also learned how to drive dog teams from Inuit he met.’
    • ‘The ban also meant that for the first time hunts were using terriers to drive foxes out of holes, he said.’
    • ‘It was hard work driving the cattle to the fair and standing all day with them.’
    • ‘Shoddy umbrellas and whipping winds drive most New Yorkers indoors during stormy weather.’
    • ‘Here, the barrier winds down a narrow alleyway used 350 years ago by sisters to drive cows out to pasture.’
    • ‘For many centuries this was the last watering place for cattle and sheep being driven to York cattle market from as far away as Helmsley.’
    • ‘I badly wanted to go on to see the monkey-puzzle forests at the foot of the Andes, to drive the cattle to high summer pasture.’
    • ‘In spite of brave rearguard actions the British, French and Belgian troops had been practically driven into the sea by the numerically superior and better equipped German forces.’
    • ‘They'd not driven the cattle in the most likely direction, which was south, but due east, straight into the center of Double - 8 range.’
    • ‘The rain has driven most of them indoors but I eventually spot one lurking on the green.’
    • ‘So one counts, the other drives the sheep and at the end of the session the farmer says, ‘Well, how many?’’
    • ‘It was established late in the 1800s as a watering point for cattle being driven overland to markets in Queensland and to other areas within the Northern Territory.’
    • ‘In his day he guided for the Texas Rangers and drove cattle north to the railheads.’
    • ‘It began on the western frontier, at a time when driving cattle was vital to the survival of an expanding nation.’
    • ‘Desperate for a resolution, the Los Ojos producers drove their sheep without permits onto state lands in 1989.’
    • ‘He now spends his days driving his weakening cattle back and forth across the valley first to find meagre pasture and then to find water.’
    • ‘When asked what he is doing, he explains that he is driving away elephants.’
    impel, urge, press, move, get going
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    1. 3.1 Compel to leave.
      ‘troops drove out the demonstrators’
      ‘he wanted to drive me away’
      • ‘The Byzantine coin is believed to come from the era of the bloody Battle of Benfleet, fought in 894 AD when an encampment of Danes was driven out by the troops of King Alfred the Great.’
      • ‘Free-market policies in rural areas have driven tens of millions of poor peasants off the land and forced them seek work in the cities and free trade zones as super-exploited labour.’
      • ‘The move comes as many shopkeepers in the area are complaining that traffic jams and the lack of parking spaces are driving customers away.’
      • ‘Research by the Mammals Trust UK has found that as intensive farming drives species from their traditional homes, many are adapting to an urban lifestyle.’
      • ‘Six months later, U.S. troops drove Filipino militias from Manila and pursued them into the countryside.’
      • ‘Surinam's name is taken from the name of its earliest inhabitants, the Surinen, who had been driven out of the area by other South American Indians by the time Europeans arrived.’
      • ‘German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps had been beaten and driven out of Africa by the time the 100th arrived.’
      • ‘Traders fear the move will drive people away and force them to shop elsewhere.’
      • ‘The party said that young nationalists would be driven out of rural areas if plans by the department to cap housing development in predominantly Catholic areas were implemented.’
      • ‘William Dougan, one of the pensioners targeted, vowed not to be driven from the area.’
  • 4with object (of a fact or feeling) compel (someone) to act in a particular way, especially one that is considered undesirable or inappropriate.

    ‘he was driven by ambition’
    with object and infinitive ‘some people are driven to murder their tormentors’
    • ‘He was driven by feelings of resentment and hatred, and felt compelled not only to defeat his enemies, but to humiliate them.’
    • ‘The family is very strong in this country and a lot of the talented kids are driven by the fact they want to help their family to better things.’
    • ‘He disturbs us not because - as some have suggested - he no longer seems human, but because we can actually identify with the self-loathing which has driven him to such excesses.’
    • ‘She enrolled in nursing, not because of any influence from her mother, but because even at that tender age there was an inner force driving her.’
    • ‘Maybe I would have less passion, less fire, less anger driving me to make the world a better place.’
    • ‘Necessity may yet drive them to strike a deal that is so clearly in both their national interests.’
    • ‘True love drives some men to strange behaviour.’
    • ‘However, that ambition drove him to take on challenges others avoided.’
    • ‘He was, said his company, ‘deeply driven and incredibly competitive’, and inspired everyone around him to never take no for an answer.’
    • ‘I told him how stories about immigrants and diverse communities were so important to me, and how that passion drove me as a journalist.’
    • ‘The boy told Bradford Crown Court he thought he was going to be killed and was driven to a suicide attempt by the alleged incident.’
    • ‘In fall, the need to stockpile calories to survive the winter drives deer to seek high-calorie foods full of oils and starches.’
    • ‘Fortunately, few of us can understand the forces that drove the terrorists to do what they did.’
    • ‘It was stupid, and fruitless considering the situation, but it was the only thing he could do, and his terror drove him to it.’
    • ‘They lived lives that were hard and obsessive, that pushed them towards their limits; they were as determined and driven as any competitors I had met.’
    • ‘They're too smart, competitive and driven to do anything so foolish as get in each other's way.’
    • ‘Flippant to a frustrating degree, he give away precious little about the forces that drove him to become one of Ireland's most successful and wealthiest businessmen.’
    • ‘Loyalty toward their team is a force that drives women to push their limits beyond what they once thought themselves capable of.’
    • ‘While he recovers, Gary's constant jealousy finally drives his wife Tess to cheat on him in earnest.’
    • ‘I don't know the reason for this one and curiosity will drive me to find out shortly.’
    force, compel, constrain, impel, press, prompt, precipitate, catapult
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1with object Bring (someone) forcibly into a specified negative state.
      ‘the thought drove him to despair’
      with object and complement ‘my laziness drives my wife crazy’
      • ‘Sometimes, there are tremendous questions that overwhelm me, that drive me mad.’
      • ‘‘My whole life, he used to put his hand on the top of my head and just hold it there, and it drove me crazy,’ she says.’
      • ‘For example, I have this chronic problem with losing things, and it drives me crazy.’
      • ‘Reb and I went to the Tracey Emin exhibition at the City Gallery and it drove me crazy because Emin can't spell.’
      • ‘I think it drives the kids crazy because I sing very loudly and off key.’
      • ‘I feel like I'm the only one in the world with nothing to do, and it drives me crazy!’
      • ‘His story of losing his wife drove a reporter to tears.’
      • ‘I drove my parents crazy reciting states and their capitals.’
      • ‘I tell you, I swear, you've been on my mind for years, and you're driving me crazy.’
      • ‘The boredom was driving him nuts, and it was impossible to sleep with the lights on.’
      • ‘I have found that the engaged tone on a phone drives me crazy.’
      • ‘I was just trying to solve one of those annoying problems that drive CEOs nuts.’
      • ‘It's driving me so mad that I'm forced in the end to appeal to the general public.’
      • ‘Listen ladies, going shoe shopping drives most men crazy.’
      • ‘Because winning means overcoming levels of boredom that can drive a man mad.’
      • ‘Still, I didn't want to drive him mad with all my worries.’
      • ‘It drove me crazy that we all bent over backwards to be liked by her.’
      • ‘I have to, before all this guilt I'm carrying around drives me absolutely insane.’
      • ‘There was just something about him that drove her wild, and she knew that sometime soon things were going to change.’
      • ‘It drives me crazy the way a lot of parents are afraid to say no.’
    2. 4.2with object Force (someone) to work to an excessive extent.
      ‘you're driving yourself too hard’
      • ‘Churchill drove himself hard but drove his subordinates harder, for they had to fit into the rhythm of his working day.’
      • ‘After years of driving herself to do more and more, saying yes to everything and never missing an opportunity, she simply burnt out.’
      • ‘I've always believed that success lies in driving yourself hard and not letting up until you've reached a goal.’
      • ‘Unfortunately he is driving himself too hard at times and his health and that of his wife has begun to suffer.’
      • ‘Malcolm Fraser as prime minister and Bob Hawke as ACTU president had a habit of driving themselves to the point of collapse.’
      work, exert, push, tax
      View synonyms
    3. 4.3 Cause (something abstract) to happen or develop.
      ‘the consumer has been driving the economy for a number of years’
      ‘we need to allow market forces to drive growth in the telecommunications sector’
      • ‘Sperm selection may thus be driven by the costs associated with inbreeding and outbreeding.’
      • ‘It is clearly the bosses, the bankers, the stockbrokers and the generals who are driving the budgetary process.’
      • ‘These machines drove the market and eventually, a year after they were out, all of them had our BASIC built-in.’
      • ‘The demographic changes that are driving the U.S. food market also are driving the larger global market.’
      • ‘It lacks narrative forms, is not reducible to conventional proverbs, and is driven by grievance against God and the world.’
      • ‘Of course poetry is also, even largely, driven by metaphor and image, in a host of ways.’
      • ‘For well over its first century, American foreign policy was a partnership between government and business, driven by efforts to keep markets open for exports and investments.’
      • ‘The Australian dollar opened unchanged today, with little economic news to drive price action overnight.’


  • 1A trip or journey in a car.

    ‘they went for a drive in the country’
    • ‘It is just one of the beautiful villages you chance across on a drive around the coast road where peace and quiet is guaranteed.’
    • ‘When I fly to Washington for our meetings, the most dangerous part of my journey is my drive to the Grand Rapids airport.’
    • ‘You cannot miss this beautiful old church if you take a walk or drive down the main street.’
    • ‘A drive down Highway 1 takes you to the capital, Wellington, a splendid city, though one that is prone to earth tremors.’
    • ‘Max was so interested in the Citroen he took it for a drive around the rough roads of Mt Taranaki.’
    • ‘We had lunch at my grandmother's place, and then set out for a nice relaxing drive along the Deeside road.’
    • ‘As we proceeded to Shillong by road the drive from Delhi was an extremely pleasant one.’
    • ‘Before setting out on a weekend drive or hike, you can print out a map that shows every road and every rise and dip in the terrain.’
    • ‘The most beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast are a manageable drive away and there are many day trips that can include time at the beach.’
    • ‘Another spectacular drive was the road to Haria in the north of the island.’
    • ‘The scheme is also within a few minutes' drive of the main motorway network and is close to a number of bus routes.’
    • ‘It felt special being in this car, it would put a smile on my face every time I went for a drive.’
    • ‘On the way back from a business trip, the drive was long, but not too tiring.’
    • ‘He likes to hike and take long drives on country roads with his wife to see what new place he'll discover and what new acquaintances he'll make.’
    • ‘As usual the kids were staying with their mum for the weekend, so yesterday I went for a drive out into the country.’
    • ‘The power sunroof will enhance those afternoon drives and trips to the beach, as will the ICE 6000 CD player.’
    • ‘It copes well with varying road surfaces, making it equally suitable for city jaunts or cross-country drives.’
    • ‘One of the many highlights of that trip was a drive to and on the legendary Khyber Pass.’
    • ‘Complete driving itineraries for ten of the best scenic drives and family-oriented tours are described in the attachment.’
    • ‘The little town is just an hour's minibus drive up the desert road, heading north from Sharm el Sheikh.’
    excursion, outing, trip, jaunt, tour, turn
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1in names A street or road.
      ‘Hammond Drive’
      • ‘Maria, originally from Belvedere Drive, started campaigning against "excessive profiteering" when she was charged €6 for a small bottle of wine in a city bar in November 2003.’
      • ‘If, as we are led to believe, that child safety is the prime reason for the changes here in St Paul's Drive I wonder if someone could explain the absence of a safe crossing.’
      • ‘As high tide approached early Monday afternoon, surface winds pushed water against the sea wall and flooded a short stretch of Sunrise Drive.’
      • ‘We spent the entire morning shopping on Rodeo Drive.’
      • ‘Shortly before 2.10 am she told him that she thought a man was following her as she made her way along West Park Drive.’
      road, thoroughfare, way
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A short road leading from a public road to a house or other building.
      ‘from the window he could see right down the weedy drive to the front gate’
      • ‘I walked slowly up the gravel drive, my feet crunching softly on the stones.’
      • ‘He was walking up the drive, and almost instantly, I knew that something wasn't right.’
      • ‘He turned his back, grinding his foot into the gravel of the drive as he walked into the house.’
      • ‘The Escort had broken down and was parked off the road on her drive.’
      • ‘One day he made me cover my eyes and led me outside. Standing on the drive was a gold Porsche - for me.’
      • ‘He was halfway through the cigarette when he heard the gate open and someone walk up the gravel drive.’
      • ‘Andy pulled out of the drive and headed across Main Street to take home three of the guys in the back.’
      • ‘Residents in Downside and surrounding roads have been battling to get restrictions to stop motorists blocking their drives or double parking.’
      • ‘They walked quietly across the drive and to the barn where he opened two stalls and proceeded to saddle up one of the horses.’
      • ‘Within ten minutes, the black Jaguar, spun into the drive, throwing up dust and dirt.’
      • ‘When dark had fallen we both looked up as we heard the tyres of fathers Benz pull into the drive.’
      • ‘There are two entrances to this property from the roadway, with a drive sweeping around to a garage at the side.’
      • ‘I drove down the long, tree-lined drive, the main road vanishing behind me.’
      • ‘It was sad to see her go, but as soon as she pulled out of the drive, I'd walk back inside and go up to my room and lay down on my bed.’
      • ‘The thieves either unscrew or simply rip the number plates from the cars while they are parked in drives, on streets or in car parks.’
      • ‘He turned on his heel and left, walking down the drive and turning to head home.’
      driveway, approach, access road
      View synonyms
  • 2Psychology
    An innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need.

    ‘emotional and sexual drives’
    • ‘One explanation for such paradoxical behaviours is that they are motivated by visceral factors relating to physical and emotional drives.’
    • ‘A woman who reports low sexual drive may be satisfied with her situation.’
    • ‘Forbidden sexual feelings, destructive or violent impulses, bodily instincts and drives were hidden there - or repressed, as Freud called it.’
    • ‘It became fashionable in the Europe of the early 20C to see humans as unwittingly acting out neurosis and subconscious drives.’
    • ‘Similarly, psychoanalysis's emphasis on unconscious drives relegated the conscious mind to relative unimportance.’
    urge, appetite, desire, need
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1mass noun Determination and ambition to achieve something.
      ‘his drive helped Leeds to four Cup finals’
      • ‘He believes the Maine Road star's drive and energy would be a massive asset in the Foxes' relegation dog-fight.’
      • ‘Terri showed a determination and drive from childhood that was to see her through difficult periods of her life.’
      • ‘Just think what you could achieve with vision, imagination and drive.’
      • ‘For with the right mix of determination, drive and talent in your chosen field, it becomes possible to do anything.’
      • ‘Mr Lambert had argued that he set up the company nine months before he met his wife and its success was due to his initiative and drive.’
      • ‘The drive, the determination to take on all-comers, has come mainly from her father.’
      • ‘There is no drive, commitment or determination to do anything worthwhile on the pitch.’
      • ‘His character is all about passion and commitment and the drive to attain his goals and get that title!’
      • ‘With Niall's sheer drive and determination, he sailed through the course and completed the tasks with ease.’
      • ‘My sisters and brother were all fostered and had the settled upbringing I longed for - but they didn't get my drive and ambition.’
      • ‘You'd have to admire their drive and their ambition to win.’
      • ‘I have drive and optimism and enthusiasm to keep going on.’
      • ‘Her energy, ambition and drive see her always looking towards the horizon to see what's coming next.’
      • ‘During one three-day conference, I was struck by the incredible drive and determination of my UN colleagues.’
      • ‘Their spirit and drive to be the best that they could be really surfaced in those sessions.’
      • ‘Given her drive, ambition and raw talent, this is a realistic goal, so Jennie is one to watch in the future.’
      • ‘The ambition and drive to win that marks out the best from the rest seems to be inherent and not something that can be taught.’
      • ‘Woodward is well aware of the importance of a settled and happy family life for anyone with his level of drive and ambition.’
      • ‘With such drive and enthusiasm, there's no telling how much this young athlete can achieve.’
      • ‘To do this must have taken considerable drive and determination, that's all I can say!’
      motivation, ambition, push, single-mindedness, will power, dedication, doggedness, tenacity, enterprise, initiative, enthusiasm, zeal, commitment, aggression, aggressiveness, forcefulness, spirit
      View synonyms
  • 3An organized effort by a number of people to achieve a purpose.

    ‘a recruitment drive by the police’
    • ‘The authority recommended closing the school as part of a drive to improve education standards across the county.’
    • ‘It is currently in the process of renovating the plant and is conducting a membership drive to enable it to complete that renovation.’
    • ‘The decision to hand over the cash directly to the trust is part of the Government's drive to give power back to those at the sharp end.’
    • ‘Patients are to be encouraged to check if hospital staff have washed their hands in a major drive to tackle life-threatening superbugs.’
    • ‘Minister Brennan's decision to bring in penalty points for speeding offences was part of a road safety drive.’
    • ‘Though almost a quarter of children still leave school unable to read or write properly, the drive to improve literacy has pushed up standards.’
    • ‘ON-the-spot fines for those who dump rubbish are being considered by the Government as part of a drive to clean up shabby neighbourhoods.’
    • ‘The WCTU conducted a massive drive to get women of all classes to enrol and vote.’
    • ‘The controversial move is one aspect of a massive drive to get doctors to intervene with heavy drinkers before they become chronic alcoholics.’
    • ‘The campaign is part of a drive to make Bradford City centre a safer and more pleasant place to shop.’
    • ‘More than half of the sports clubs contacted in a recent survey said they would welcome a national drive to recruit more helpers.’
    • ‘The government has launched a recruitment drive to get 20,000 more nurses into the NHS by 2004.’
    • ‘March also saw the launch of a major cash drive by the fundraising committee for Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre.’
    • ‘A massive recruitment drive to bring more than a thousand jobs to east Manchester is being launched next week.’
    • ‘Local people are being invited to design a logo for the West End Partnership, which is behind a drive to revamp the struggling neighbourhood.’
    • ‘Mrs Maddocks said last night that the money would help spearhead the drive to recruit more donors from ethnic backgrounds.’
    • ‘Wind turbines could be put up on school fields and spare land across Lancashire as part of a green energy drive.’
    • ‘The new post is seen as key to the authority's success in pressing forward its drive for service excellence.’
    • ‘Education chiefs this week launched a fresh drive to recruit school governors across Wiltshire.’
    • ‘A special car crime awareness drive is taking place all this month, with advice for drivers on ways to protect their property.’
    campaign, crusade, movement, effort, push, surge, appeal
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1British An organized gathering to play whist or another game, involving many players.
      ‘a whist drive’
      • ‘In the old days, we used to meet weekly and ran bingo and beetle drives to raise money.’
      • ‘Afterwards the whist drive will get underway in the local parish hall with a special top score prize of £60.’
      • ‘It is also used for regular card games and whist drives.’
      • ‘Thanks to all who attended and contributed at the charity auction, the poker classic and the whist drive.’
      • ‘The whist drives which are in aid of the St. Vincent de Paul conference will continue each Monday night in St. Aidan's hall at 8.30 pm.’
      • ‘They also extend a big thank you to the Parish Hall whist committee who ran a drive in aid of the fund raiser.’
      • ‘The Church of Scotland may long have raised funds through raffles, tombolas and whist drives, but it disapproves of gambling.’
      • ‘A whist drive and a dance were held at Broadway Hall, now Bartlett's Insurance Company.’
      • ‘Carnival celebrations will be brought to a close with a whist drive at St James Church on September 17.’
      • ‘There is a whist drive on the second and fourth Monday of each month.’
      • ‘25 card drives are in full swing each Sunday night in the Supper Room of St Brigid's Hall.’
      • ‘The players raised £400 for the appeal by holding a beetle drive.’
      • ‘They also extend thanks to the Parish Hall whist committee and to the many people who provided prizes for the raffle at the whist drive.’
      • ‘The whist drive in Kelly's on Saturday January 24th in aid of club funds was well supported.’
      • ‘She attended the whist drive in Ballinrobe every Wednesday night and was a very astute player.’
      • ‘One of the main social events in the hall is the Friday night whist drives which attract whist players from all over Laois and neighbouring counties.’
      • ‘The whist drives which attracts a large gathering of people far and near continue in the parish hall each Sunday night at 8 pm and all are welcome.’
      • ‘The whist drive seems to be a thing inseparable from the social life of the town.’
      • ‘Nearly £500 was raised by women members of Harrogate Golf Club through a fashion show, raffles at a coffee morning, and whist drives.’
      • ‘The next charity event on the calendar is a whist drive at the centre on January 10.’
      tournament, competition, contest, event, match
      View synonyms
  • 4mass noun The transmission of power to machinery or to the wheels of a motor vehicle.

    ‘he experimented with chain drive to run the propeller’
    • ‘The upright styling is designed to make the car look like a miniature off-roader, but it remains two wheel drive.’
    • ‘This totally new machine features three major improvements: power steering, hydrostatic drive to rear wheels, and an electric clutch for turning on all three cutting units at once.’
    • ‘Once moving, power is balanced between front and rear, reducing drive to rear wheels when not needed, and so cutting fuel consumption.’
    • ‘That provides drive to both wheels in all situations without completely locking up the wheels - while having the possibility to steer with good maneuverability.’
    • ‘The right rear shaft had snapped and I was only getting drive to one wheel.’
    1. 4.1 (in a car with automatic transmission) the position of the gear selector in which the car will move forward, changing gears automatically as required.
      ‘he threw the car into drive’
      • ‘When she was in the road, she put the shift into drive and drove forward.’
      • ‘Lucas glanced over at his partner as he placed the squad car into drive.’
      • ‘I backed out of the parking space before knocking the gears into drive and pulling out of the Manor.’
      • ‘The cab driver didn't say anything he just nodded his head and put the car in drive.’
      • ‘But turn the key, click the semi-automatic gearshift into drive and as the revs rise, comfort drops down the scale.’
      • ‘We got in the car and he put the gears in drive, and soon we were rounding the block.’
      • ‘Bryce didn't answer and put the car in drive, heading back to his apartment.’
      • ‘I moved the car into drive and moved off toward the convenience store.’
      • ‘Throwing the gear into drive, she punched the pedal and peeled out, leaving a cloud of smoke.’
      • ‘I covered my face momentarily, rubbed at my tired eyes with my hand, and shifted the car back into drive.’
      • ‘Without so much as flinching, Bri had the car in drive and was screeching out of the parking lot with the pedal to the metal.’
      • ‘Not knowing where exactly she was going she put her car in drive and took off.’
      • ‘As she opened the door he put the car back into drive and pulled away from the building.’
      • ‘I pressed a button on the side of the steering wheel with my left hand as I shifted the car into drive with my right.’
      • ‘When they were ready, JC took a quick look at the note again and put the car into drive.’
      • ‘Before the key goes into the ignition, before the gear goes into drive, make sure you weigh all the risks.’
      • ‘So why was it that I couldn't get my fingers to turn the ignition and put the car in drive?’
      • ‘The driver explained that he intended to back out of his parking space, but the car was actually in drive.’
      • ‘As soon as he saw the gate in front of him, he put the car into drive and started driving toward it.’
      • ‘He remained silent after that, and put the car in drive, while I stared out the window.’
    2. 4.2Computing
      ‘insert the disk into drive A’
      short for disk drive
      • ‘Do not leave portable media such as CDs or floppy disks in drives.’
      • ‘Despite these flaws, rewritable DVD drives are taking off.’
      • ‘Memory drives can store much more information than a floppy disk and are also considerably faster.’
      • ‘You have to look at factors like how long the disk remains in a drive, which may be more critical in some apps than in others.’
      • ‘Much like flash memory, the drives are removable and can be easily replaced.’
  • 5(in ball games) a forceful stroke made with a free swing of the bat, racket, or foot against the ball.

    ‘a hard drive to left field’
    • ‘As a batsman, his free-flowing drives were also unforgettably graceful.’
    • ‘Gayle, usually the flamboyant strokemaker, played a subdued innings with only rare sightings of his trademark drives and cuts.’
    • ‘Another 30-yard run from the dangerous Jamaican ended with a fierce drive that flew across goal and out for a throw in.’
    • ‘The left-hander went for a drive but only succeeded in edging the ball to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.’
    • ‘Arklow got another try soon after when a drive from a five-metre line proved unstoppable.’
    • ‘Inzamam's experience and class came through as he defended watchfully, ran sparingly, and made the loose balls count with crunching drives off the back foot.’
    • ‘In the opening 15 minutes he had a shot cleared off the line and a left-foot drive brilliantly saved.’
    • ‘Matthew Bland was commanding in midfield and threatened the Hemsworth goal with a fierce drive which was just tipped over.’
    • ‘In the final few minutes, Ireland, sensing that they were in danger of losing the game, stepped up their effort, to produce a number of drives at the Scotland line.’
    • ‘Gordon Kearney was narrowly wide with a penalty and then Jon Slattery was held up on the last of many drives for the line before the half time whistle.’
    • ‘His ambitious drive at the next ball found Graham Thorpe in the slips.’
    • ‘His favourite shots were drives straight down the wicket and through the covers, but he also produced the occasional cut to pile on the agony for the West Indies attack.’
    • ‘As the shadows fall across the stadium court, Nalbandian holds his nerve, a backhand drive with both feet off the ground giving him two set points.’
    • ‘That gave Rovers renewed impetus and Baggio nearly scored a brilliant goal with a thunderous drive that bounced back off the crossbar.’
    • ‘The third try arrived when, after a number of drives, the ball was spun out through several pairs of hands for hooker Steve Piercy to cross.’
    • ‘A mazy run took him into range of Morgan's goal but his right-foot drive flew inches wide.’
    • ‘Their next drive at goal was successful and saw Neil Chambers score a point for the visitors.’
    • ‘First he let fly from 25 metres out, his ambitious drive banging off the outside of the upright.’
    • ‘Cook's forceful mis-hit drive looked bound for the winning boundary, but Chris Turner took a superb, tumbling catch.’
    • ‘If one had to pick the most significant player in India's success, it had to be Laxman, who made batting appear so ridiculously easy with his sensational drives on the front foot.’
    1. 5.1Golf A shot from the tee.
      ‘Greg hit a good drive at the 18th’
      • ‘After hitting a great drive, he put his second shot on the front of the green while his opponent was in trouble.’
      • ‘Should you hit a bad shot on that first drive down the fairway, tee up another ball and try again.’
      • ‘I had just taken some lessons from my club pro, and I was hitting my drives in the fairway and the putts were dropping.’
      • ‘Woods began shakily, slicing his opening drive into the trees before scrambling for a par via the greenside bunker.’
      • ‘The world number eight dropped a stroke at the par-four ninth when his drive ended beside a tree down the left side of the fairway.’
  • 6An act of driving a group of animals to a particular destination.

    ‘cattle were no longer taken on long drives, but were delivered by rail’
    • ‘Organized cattle drives take place at many ranches.’
    • ‘He left home in 1867 hoping to join a cattle drive going north.’


  • drive something home

  • drive a nail into the coffin of

    • Severely harm (something that is already in a poor state)

      ‘companies will be pushed to the brink, driving another nail in the coffin of British manufacturing’
      • ‘Worsening crime in San Miguel will drive a nail further into its coffin.’
      • ‘Germany drives another nail into the coffin of the Euro.’
      • ‘This decision has driven a nail into the coffin of Jewish identity in Israel.’
      damage, be detrimental to, be prejudicial to, be disadvantageous to, injure, harm, hurt, mar, spoil, impair, undermine, be deleterious to, hinder, compromise, drive a nail into the coffin of
      View synonyms
  • let drive

    • Attack with blows, missiles, or criticism.

      ‘I let drive with all the most forceful arguments I could lay my tongue to’
      • ‘P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and Michael Dibdin let drive in interviews on television.’
  • what someone is driving at

    • The point that someone is attempting to make.

      ‘I don't understand what you're driving at’
      • ‘You can see what Mahoney is driving at: that materialism is no substitute for morality.’
      • ‘It was cryptic, but currency markets traders knew exactly what the G7, or more precisely, Mr Snow, was driving at.’
      • ‘Ultimately, what Crichton is driving at is a relatively simple point: that man's vision, either past or forward, is remarkably short-sighted.’
      • ‘Perhaps what Ferguson is driving at is the need to keep winning and winning.’
      • ‘He gave his brother an odd look. ‘What are you driving at?’’
      suggest, imply, hint at, allude to, intimate, insinuate, indicate, have in mind
      View synonyms


Old English drīfan ‘urge (a person or animal) to go forward’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch drijven and German treiben.