Definition of drive-by in US English:



North American
  • 1attributive (of a shooting or other act) carried out from a passing vehicle.

    ‘a drive-by shooting’
    • ‘The flare-up began on Monday when a teenager was wounded in a drive-by shooting.’
    • ‘As you'll see in this timeline, since last Halloween, the world of rap has seen drive-by shootings on the freeway, multiple homicides and federal investigations.’
    • ‘Police have arrested two of three suspects in the drive-by shooting.’
    • ‘I remembered Carol, a woman who had been hit during a drive-by shooting.’
    • ‘Police hunting a gunman after a drive-by shooting left a man seriously injured have made two arrests.’
    • ‘Guerrillas detonated two bombs, and carried out two drive-by shootings and a stabbing in a little over an hour.’
    • ‘The shootings, the drive-by shootings, the killings are numbing, and we have Australian volunteers who come over who are shell-shocked by just the constant barrage of violence and killing in the city.’
    • ‘We all know from the movies that the city suffers car-jackings and rapes and drive-by shootings but what happened this month at a park in the LA suburbs was shocking even by California standards.’
    • ‘If I get blown away in a drive-by shooting, well, at least I told the cops beforehand.’
    • ‘The rank was closed last week and 13 taximen arrested after several minibus taxis were damaged in a drive-by shooting.’
    • ‘But I realized that the father's grief was the same as it would be if his son had been killed in an auto accident or shot in a random drive-by shooting.’
    • ‘He left only when, the threats to himself extended and went past him, reaching out to innocent customers and bystanders whom he could not protect out on the sidewalk if the promised drive-by shootings had come to pass.’
    • ‘The same vehicle is alleged to have been involved in two other taxi related drive-by shootings in the region within the last month.’
    • ‘An explosion in drug-related murders and drive-by shootings made national news and gave the area a fearsome reputation.’
    • ‘A father of four young children murdered in a drive-by shooting could have been the latest victim of the Yorkshire criminal underworld gun culture, it emerged yesterday.’
    • ‘The police informed the public that all three incidents are not random drive-by shootings, but they are, apparently, gang related.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, police in Hertfordshire have recovered a second car they suspect was used by the two gunmen who killed a man in a drive-by shooting on Friday.’
    • ‘And years ago we never heard of drug-related stabbings, or drive-by shootings, all of which would have been eagerly printed by the media of that day.’
    • ‘But his drive-by shooting only once hit the target and he claimed the carcass.’
    • ‘Two taxi drivers were killed last night and four people, including a bystander, were injured in two separate drive-by shootings.’
    1. 1.1US informal Superficial or casual; hurried.
      ‘they practice drive-by journalism rather than trying to elevate the level of discussion’
      • ‘A friend of mine suggested that we might need a law for those who commit drive-by journalism and then profit from it later.’
      • ‘OK, so the reporter did some drive-by reporting.’
      • ‘If casual drive-by encounters comprised all of one's impressions of most cooperatives in Sri Lanka, there would be little to make them seem worthy of note.’


North American
  • A shooting carried out from a passing vehicle.

    • ‘Her subject is Los Angeles itself, and it's a familiarly distressing collage of crime-scene tape, drive-bys, bulging prisons, drug stunted lives.’
    • ‘After the drive-by though, I flew into a mini tirade.’
    • ‘Moments ago he was doing drive-bys and selling drugs; now he's praising higher education and encouraging kids to be deep-sea explorers.’
    • ‘We've had several incidents where they've used drive-bys and actually have gone and assassinated people in their homes.’
    • ‘Also, it won't slow you down while trying to run, and it's the only gun that can be used for drive-bys.’
    • ‘Otherwise, what would be the purpose of a drive-by if the target wasn't hit?’
    • ‘Of course, never straying skyward in the first place limits our exposure to bike wrecks, road rage, drive-bys.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, with a few notable exceptions, they did a typical drive-by.’
    • ‘The weather might keep you from the average youngster's schedule of playing croquet and partaking in drive-bys, but I've got some really fun stuff that you can make in your own home with everyday objects.’
    • ‘When drive-bys were common around here, for a long time the preferred way of killing someone, the weapon of choice, was an Uzi.’
    • ‘I have been here for a few months and I find it a relief to be in a place in North America where you don't have to always look behind you to make sure you're not going to be mugged or shot in a drive-by.’
    • ‘Between drugs, drive-bys and drop outs, jail, pregnancy, poverty and all of the other elements that end too many minority lives too soon, only 30 of the members of that class ever saw their high school graduation.’
    • ‘Those who knew us knew, as I refused to yield my gunman position in the drive-by, that they couldn't dissuade me.’
    • ‘There, he said, they used drive-bys and 9mm handguns.’
    • ‘Usually drive-bys are reserved for rival gang members.’
    • ‘My mom had died of liver disease and one of my brothers had been killed in a drive-by not long after I went to jail.’
    • ‘You don't answer… she thinks you've been killed in a drive-by.’
    • ‘After the Donnellys heard you got caught for another drive-by, they seemed afraid you'd murder them in their sleep.’



/ˈdrīv ˌbī//ˈdraɪv ˌbaɪ/