Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb drive pronunciation in British English /draɪv/
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.
    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.

    Swarms of mosquitoes drove us inside the house.

  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

    The coach really drives his team, but he gets good results.

    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. 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.



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog