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drive - definition and synonyms

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verb     drive pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participledriving
past tensedrove
past participledriven
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to control a vehicle so that it moves somewhere

    Usually, my sister drives and I read the map.

    You will drive carefully, won’t you?

    drive along/down/through etc:

    He drove along for several miles before he saw anyone.

    drive something along/into etc:

    He drove his truck into a wall.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to know how to drive a vehicle

      Can’t you drive?

      I’ve been driving for 15 years and I’ve never had an accident.

    2. b.
      [transitive] to take someone somewhere in a vehicle that you are driving

      Dad will drive us.

      drive someone to/from something:

      Lee drove me to the airport.

    3. c.
      [transitive] to drive a particular type of vehicle regularly

      She drives a bus for a living.

    4. d.
      [intransitive] to get somewhere by driving a car

      We usually drive to Italy, but this year we’re flying.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to force someone into a bad situation or state
    drive someone to do something:

    Desperation finally drove her to ask for help.

    drive someone to something:

    People are being driven to violence by police action.

    drive someone out of business:

    Supermarkets are driving small shops out of business.

    1. a.
      [transitive] informal to annoy someone by doing something
      drive someone crazy/mad/up the wall/round the bend:

      Will you stop that humming, you’re driving me mad!

      drive someone to desperation/despair:

      Driven to desperation, he began to steal from his employer.

      drive someone to drink (=make someone feel very upset or annoyed):

      It’s enough to drive you to drink.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to force someone to leave a place, usually the place where they live
    drive someone from/out of/off/away from something:

    This malicious gossip has driven her out of the village.

    drive someone from/out of something:

    Thousands of people have been driven from their homes by the fighting.

  4. 4
    [transitive] [often passive] to provide the power that makes something move

    The pump is driven by an electric motor.

  5. 5
    [transitive] to make someone work or try very hard
    drive yourself:

    We think you’ve been driving yourself too hard.

  6. 6
    [transitive] to make someone determined to do something

    We want to find out what drives a successful businesswoman like Sylvia.

    Douglas was driven by a need to learn the truth.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to push something using a lot of force, so that it enters or hits something else

    He drove the nail into the wall.

  8. 8
    [intransitive/transitive] to hit or kick a ball hard in a particular direction

    She drove the ball into the top corner of the goal.

  9. 9
    [transitive] to make a group of animals move somewhere
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