Language: Old English
Origin: drifan


1 verb
drive1 S1 W1 past tense drove past participle driven


a) [intransitive and transitive]TTC to make a car, truck, bus etc move along
drive to/down/off etc
I am planning to drive to Morocco next year.
the man driving the car
Can you drive?
So when did you learn to drive?
Bye! Drive carefully!
He drives 12 miles to work.
He drives (=has) a BMW estate.
b) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a car, truck etc drives somewhere, it moves there:
After the accident, the other car just drove off.
c) [intransitive]TTC if people drive somewhere, they travel somewhere in a car:
Shall we drive or take the bus?
drive to/down/off etc
They drove back to Woodside.
d) [transitive always + adverb/preposition]TTC to take someone somewhere in a car, truck etc:
She drove Anna to London.
I'll drive you home.
drive yourself
I drove myself to hospital.

make somebody move

[transitive] to force a person or animal to go somewhere:
Torrential rain drove the players off the course.
With a few loud whistles, they drove the donkeys out of the enclosure.

make somebody do something

[transitive] to strongly influence someone to do something
drive somebody to do something
The detective wondered what had driven Christine to phone her.
drive somebody to/into something
The noises in my head have nearly driven me to suicide.
Phil, driven by jealousy, started spying on his wife.

make somebody/something be in a bad state

[transitive] to make someone or something get into a bad or extreme state, usually an emotional one
drive somebody crazy/nuts/mad/insane (=make someone feel very annoyed)
This cough is driving me mad!
drive somebody crazy/wild (=make someone feel very sexually excited)
drive somebody up the wall/out of their mind (=make someone feel very annoyed)
drive somebody to distraction/desperation
The mosquitoes drive me to distraction.
drive somebody/something into something
The factory had been driven into bankruptcy.

hit/push something into something

[transitive] to hit or push something into something else
drive something into something
We watched Dad drive the posts into the ground.
She drove her heels into the sand.

make somebody work

[transitive] to make a person or animal work hard
drive yourself
Don't drive yourself too hard.


[intransitive and transitive]
a) to move a ball etc forward in a game of baseball, football, golf etc by hitting or kicking it hard and fast:
He drove the ball into the corner of the net.
b) to run with the ball towards the goal in sports such as basketball and American football

provide power

[transitive]TP to provide the power for a vehicle or machine

rain/wind etc

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if rain, snow, wind etc drives somewhere, it moves very quickly in that direction:
The rain was driving down hard.

drive a coach and horses through something

to destroy an argument, plan etc completely:
The new bill will drive a coach and horses through recent trade agreements.

make a hole

[transitive always + adverb/preposition]TI to make a large hole in something using heavy equipment or machinery:
They drove a tunnel through the mountains.

drive something home

to make something completely clear to someone:
He didn't have to drive the point home. The videotape had done that.

drive a wedge between somebody

to do something that makes people disagree or start to dislike each other:
I don't want to drive a wedge between you and your father.

➔ drive/strike a hard bargain

at hard1 (18)

drive at something

phrasal verb

what somebody is driving at

the thing someone is really trying to say [= get at]:
I still couldn't understand what Toby was driving at.

drive somebody ↔ away

phrasal verb
to behave in a way that makes someone leave:
He was cruel because he wanted to drive me away.

drive something ↔ down

phrasal verb
BBTPE to make prices, costs etc fall quickly:
We have to drive down costs.

drive somebody/something ↔ in

phrasal verb
to hit the ball so that another player can score a run in baseball

drive off

phrasal verb
1DSG to hit the ball to begin a game of golf

drive somebody ↔ off

to force a person or animal to go away from you:
We keep dogs in the yard to drive off intruders.

drive somebody/something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1 to force someone or something to leave:
Downtown stores are being driven out by crime.
2 written to make something stop existing:
As we went forward, our fear was driven out by horror.

drive something ↔ up

phrasal verb
BBTPE to make prices, costs etc rise quickly:
The oil shortage drove gas prices up by 20 cents a gallon.