Meaning of “drive” in the English Dictionary

"drive" in English

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uk /draɪv/ us /draɪv/ drove, driven

drive verb (USE VEHICLE)

A1 [ I or T ] to move or travel on land in a motor vehicle, especially as the person controlling the vehicle's movement:

I'm learning to drive.
"Are you going by train?" "No, I'm driving."
She drives a red sports car.
They're driving to Chicago on Tuesday.
We saw their car outside the house and drove on/past/away.
I drove my daughter to school.
driving while intoxicated abbreviation DWI US specialized

the crime of operating a motor vehicle after having drunk more alcohol than you are legally allowed to:

Smith was arrested and charged with DWI.

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drive verb (FORCE)

C1 [ T ] to force someone or something to go somewhere or do something:

They used dogs to drive the sheep into a pen.
A post had been driven (= hit hard) into the ground near the tree.
By the end of the year, most of the occupying troops had been driven from the city.
[ + to infinitive ] In the end, it was his violent behaviour that drove her to leave home.

C1 [ T ] to force someone or something into a particular state, often an unpleasant one:

In the course of history, love has driven men and women to strange extremes.
Recent events have driven the stock market to lows not seen in ten years.
drive sb mad, crazy, etc. B2 informal

to make someone extremely annoyed:

My mother-in-law has been staying with us this past week and she's driving me crazy.
He leaves dirty clothes all over the floor and it's driving me mad.
drive sb wild informal

to make you very excited, especially sexually:

When he runs his fingers through my hair, it drives me wild!

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drive verb (PROVIDE POWER)

C2 [ T ] to provide the power to keep a machine working, or to make something happen:

The engine drives the wheels.
Water drives the turbines that produce electricity.

[ T ] If you drive a ball, especially in golf or baseball, you hit it hard so that it travels a long way:

Slater drove the ball down the fairway.


uk /draɪv/ us /draɪv/

drive noun (VEHICLE)

B1 [ C ] a journey by car:

It's a long drive from Auckland to Wellington.
Shall we go for a drive this afternoon?

[ U ] the system used to power a vehicle:

a car with left-hand/right-hand drive (= in which the driver sits in the seat on the left/right).
a four-wheel drive vehicle

(Definition of “drive” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"drive" in American English

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us /drɑɪv/ past tense drove /droʊv/ , past participle driven /ˈdrɪv·ən/

drive verb (USE VEHICLE)

[ I/T ] to travel in a motor vehicle, esp. as the person who operates it:

[ T ] We drove 40 miles to visit my aunt.
[ I ] She drove through Pennsylvania to Ohio.
[ I ] She never learned how to drive (= operate a car).
[ T ] I’ll drive you to the station (= take you there in my car).

drive verb (FORCE)

[ T ] to force someone or something to go somewhere or do something:

He drove a nail into the wall.
He was driven (= His actions were caused) by greed.

drive verb (PROVIDE POWER)

[ T ] to provide the power to make a machine operate:

The water pump is driven by a windmill.


us /drɑɪv/

drive noun (TRIP)

[ C ] a trip in a motor vehicle:

We have a 200-mile drive ahead of us.

[ C ] A drive is also a road for cars and is sometimes used as part of a name:

Riverside Drive

drive noun (PLANNED EFFORT)

[ C ] a planned, usually long-lasting, effort to achieve something:

The university sponsored a blood drive (= effort to collect blood) for the Red Cross.

drive noun (FORCE)

[ C/U ] strong determination to do or achieve something:

[ U ] Intelligence isn’t enough – you’ve got to have the drive to succeed.

(Definition of “drive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"drive" in Business English

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driveverb [ T ]

uk /draɪv/ us drove, driven

to cause or influence something:

be driven by sth The country needs to shift from export-led growth to growth driven by domestic demand.
This company is driven by customers and by the markets in which we do our business.

to cause something to progress, develop, or grow stronger:

The firm said it would drive sales by switching into larger premises while closing smaller stores.
The company yesterday reported record iron ore production for the year to June, driven by a construction and manufacturing boom in China.

to force something to happen or someone to do something:

drive sb/sth into/out of/to sth Analysts say these policies will drive the economy into recession.
The prospect of a consumer boom helped drive the stock market to new peaks yesterday.
be in the driving seat also be in the driver's seat UK

to be in control of a situation:

With employers fighting among themselves for staff, IT workers are in the driving seat.
He believes there will be consolidation in the airline industry and wants his company to be in the driver's seat of any merger.
drive a hard bargain

to expect a lot in exchange for what you pay or agree to:

The unions are driving a hard bargain on pay.


uk /draɪv/ us

[ C ] an effort to achieve something:

drive for sth The supermarket continues in its relentless drive for expansion.
drive to do sth They are expanding their telephone banking service for small businesses in a key part of their drive to cut costs and boost efficiency.

[ C ] IT a piece of equipment for reading and storing computer information:

a CD-ROM/DVD drive

[ U ] energy and determination to achieve things:

We're looking for someone with drive and ambition to fill this important post.
drive to do sth She has the drive to succeed.

(Definition of “drive” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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