let drive, to aim a blow or missile at; attack: He let drive at his pursuers.

Origin of drive

before 900; Middle English drīven, Old English drīfan; cognate with Dutch drijven, Old Norse drīfa, Gothic dreiban, German treiben
Related formsdriv·a·ble, drive·a·ble, adjectivenon·driv·a·ble, adjectivenon·drive·a·ble, adjectivepre·drive, verb, pre·drove, pre·driv·en, pre·driv··drive, verb, re·drove, re·driv·en, re·driv·ing.un·driv·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for drive

Synonym study

2, 15. Drive, ride are used interchangeably to mean traveling in an automobile or, formerly, in a horse-drawn vehicle. These two words are not synonyms in other connections. To drive is to maneuver, guide, or steer the progress of a vehicle, animal, etc.: to drive a bus, a horse. To ride is to be carried about by an animal or be carried as a passenger in a vehicle: to ride a horse, a train, a bus. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drive

Contemporary Examples of drive

Historical Examples of drive

  • "I wonder that you take her to drive with you," suggested Philip, sympathetically.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • "It is a great deal worse to drive without her," said the impetuous lady.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Then drive on; if there had been, I wouldn't have travelled a mile with her.

  • When we get to the circle of 'em, because they're all round the cabin, we'll drive at 'em together.

  • Austin listened to her reminiscences and turned the talk to the drive.


    William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for drive


verb drives, driving, drove (drəʊv) or driven (ˈdrɪvən)

to push, propel, or be pushed or propelled
to control and guide the movement of (a vehicle, draught animal, etc)to drive a car
(tr) to compel or urge to work or act, esp excessively
(tr) to goad or force into a specified attitude or statework drove him to despair
(tr) to cause (an object) to make or form (a hole, crack, etc)his blow drove a hole in the wall
to move or cause to move rapidly by striking or throwing with force
sport to hit (a ball) very hard and straight, as (in cricket) with the bat swinging more or less vertically
golf to strike (the ball) with a driver, as in teeing off
  1. to chase (game) from cover into more open ground
  2. to search (an area) for game
to transport or be transported in a driven vehicle
(intr) to rush or dash violently, esp against an obstacle or solid objectthe waves drove against the rock
(tr) to carry through or transact with vigour (esp in the phrase drive a hard bargain)
(tr) to force (a component) into or out of its location by means of blows or a press
(tr) mining to excavate horizontally
(tr) NZ to fell (a tree or trees) by the impact of another felled tree
drive home
  1. to cause to penetrate to the fullest extent
  2. to make clear by special emphasis


the act of driving
a trip or journey in a driven vehicle
  1. a road for vehicles, esp a private road leading to a house
  2. (capital when part of a street name)Woodland Drive
vigorous or urgent pressure, as in business
a united effort, esp directed towards a common goala charity drive
British a large gathering of persons to play cards, etcSee beetle drive, whist drive
energy, ambition, or initiative
psychol a motive or interest, such as sex, hunger, or ambition, that actuates an organism to attain a goal
a sustained and powerful military offensive
  1. the means by which force, torque, motion, or power is transmitted in a mechanismfluid drive
  2. (as modifier)a drive shaft
sport a hard straight shot or stroke
a search for and chasing of game towards waiting guns
electronics the signal applied to the input of an amplifier
Derived Formsdrivable or driveable, adjectivedrivability or driveability, noun

Word Origin for drive

Old English drīfan; related to Old Frisian drīva, Old Norse drīfa, Gothic dreiban, Old High German trīban
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for drive

Old English drifan "to drive, force, hunt, pursue; rush against" (class I strong verb; past tense draf, past participle drifen), from Proto-Germanic *dribanan (cf. Old Frisian driva, Old Saxon driban, Dutch drijven, Old High German triban, German treiben, Old Norse drifa, Gothic dreiban "to drive"). Not found outside Germanic. Original sense of "pushing from behind," altered in Modern English by application to automobiles. Related: Driving.

MILLER: "The more you drive, the less intelligent you are." ["Repo Man," 1984]

1690s, "act of driving," from drive (v.). Meaning "excursion by vehicle" is from 1785. Golfing sense of "forcible blow" is from 1836. Meaning "organized effort to raise money" is 1889, American English. Sense of "dynamism" is from 1908. In the computing sense, first attested 1963.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for drive




A strong motivating tendency or instinct, especially of sexual or aggressive origin, that prompts activity toward a particular end.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.