[ drahyv-throo ]
/ ˈdraɪvˌθru /


the act of driving through a specified locality or place, especially driving into a place of business, completing a transaction from one's car, and driving out: a quick drive-through of Beverly Hills; The bank has outside tellers' windows to accept deposits by drive-through.


designed to accommodate or arranged for a drive-through: a drive-through zoo; a drive-through car wash.

Nearby words

  1. drive-by,
  2. drive-by download,
  3. drive-by shooting,
  4. drive-in,
  5. drive-off,
  6. drive-through delivery,
  7. drive-thru,
  8. drive-time,
  9. drive-up,
  10. driveaway

Origin of drive-through

First recorded in 1970–75; noun, adj. use of verb phrase drive through Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drive-through

  • They had a hasty supper of burgers at a drive-through and then went back to the jungle-gym project.

    Makers|Cory Doctorow

Word Origin and History for drive-through



1949 (in an advertisement for the Beer Vault Drive-Thru in Ann Arbor, Michigan), from drive (v.) + through.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper