American English

Definition of drive verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they drive
    he / she / it drives
    past simple drove
    past participle driven
    -ing form driving
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to operate a vehicle so that it goes in a particular direction Can you drive? Don't drive so fast! I drove to work this morning. Should we drive (= go there by car) or go by train? drive something He drives a taxi (= that is his job). Topic CollocationsDrivinghaving a car have/own a car ride a motorcycle/moped/scooter drive/use/prefer an automatic/a manual/a stick shift have/get your car fixed/repaired/looked at buy/sell a used car take/pass/fail a driver's test/road test/knowledge test get/obtain/have/lose/carry a/your driver's license/learner's permitdriving put on/fasten/buckle/wear/undo your seat belt put/turn/leave the key in the ignition start the car/engine change/shift gears shift/put the car into gear/neutral/drive/park press/put your foot on the brake pedal/clutch/accelerator release the clutch/the emergency brake/the parking brake drive/park/reverse the car signal that you are turning left/right take/miss the turn apply/hit/slam on the brake(s) beep/honk your hornproblems and accidents a car skids/crashes (into something)/collides (with something) swerve to avoid an oncoming car/a pedestrian crash/lose control of the car have/be in/be killed in/survive a (car) crash/a (car) wreck/an accident/a hit-and-run be run over/hit by a car/bus/truck dent/hit the hood/trunk/door/side panel/bumper/fender break/crack/shatter the windshield blow/puncture a tire get/have a flat tire inflate/change/replace/check a tiretraffic and driving regulations be caught in/get stuck in/sit in a traffic jam cause congestion/traffic jams/gridlock/backups experience/face lengthy delays beat/avoid the traffic/the rush hour exceed/observe/drive the speed limit be caught by a speed camera stop somebody for/pull somebody over for speeding (informal) run a red light/the lights be arrested for/charged with drunk driving/driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) be banned from driving have your license suspended/taken away/ (informal) pulled
  2. 2[transitive] drive somebody (+ adv./prep.) to take someone somewhere in a car, taxi, etc. Could you drive me home? Thesaurustakelead escort drive show walk guide usher directThese words all mean to go with someone from one place to another.take to go with someone from one place to another, for example in order to show them something or to show them the way to a place:I'll take you to the party tomorrow.lead to go with or go in front of someone in order to show them the way or to make them go in the right direction:Firefighters led the survivors to safety.escort to go with someone in order to protect or guard them or to show them the way:The president was escorted by twelve to take someone somewhere in a car, taxi, etc:My mother drove us to the to take someone to a particular place, in the right direction, or along the correct route:The attendant showed us to our seats.walk to go somewhere with someone on foot, especially in order to make sure that they get there safely; to take an animal, especially a dog, for a walk or make an animal walk somewhere:He always walked her home. Have you walked the dog yet today?guide to show someone the way to a place, often by going with them; to show someone a place that you know well:She guided us through the busy streets. We were guided around the museums.usher (somewhat formal) to politely take or show someone where you want them to be, especially within a building:She ushered her guests to their (somewhat formal) to tell or show someone how to get somewhere or where to go:A young woman directed them to the station.Patterns to take/lead/escort/drive/show/walk/guide/usher/direct somebody to/out of/into something to take/lead/escort/drive/show/walk/guide/usher somebody around to take/lead/escort/drive/walk somebody home to take/lead/escort/guide/usher somebody to safety to lead/show the way
  3. 3[transitive] drive something to own or use a particular type of vehicle What car do you drive?
  4. machine
  5. 4[transitive, usually passive] drive something to provide the power that makes a machine work a steam-driven locomotive
  6. make someone do something
  7. 5[transitive] drive somebody/yourself (+ adv./prep.) to force someone/yourself to act in a particular way The urge to survive drove them on. You're driving yourself too hard.
  8. 6[transitive] to make someone very angry, crazy, etc. or to make them do something extreme drive somebody + adj. to drive someone crazy/mad/insane drive somebody to do something Hunger drove her to steal. drive somebody to something Those kids are driving me to despair. (humorous) It's enough to drive you to drink (= to make you start drinking too much alcohol).
  9. make someone or something move
  10. 7[transitive] drive somebody/something + adv./prep. to force someone or something to move in a particular direction to drive sheep into a field The enemy was driven back.
  11. cause something to make progress
  12. 8[transitive] drive something to influence something or cause it to make progress This is the main factor driving investment in the area.
  13. hit/push
  14. 9[transitive] drive something + adv./prep. to force something to go in a particular direction or into a particular position by pushing it, hitting it, etc. to drive a nail into a piece of wood
  15. make a hole
  16. 10[transitive] drive something + adv./prep. to make an opening in or through something by using force They drove a tunnel through the solid rock.
  17. in sports
  18. 11[transitive, intransitive] drive (something) (+ adv./prep.) to hit a ball with force, sending it forward to drive the ball into the rough (= in golf )
  19. wind/water
  20. 12[transitive] drive something (+ adv./prep.) to carry something along Huge waves drove the yacht onto the rocks.
  21. 13[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to fall or move rapidly and with great force The waves drove against the shore.
  22. Idioms
    as clean, pure, etc. as the driven snow
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    extremely clean, pure, etc.
    drive/strike a hard bargain
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    to argue in an aggressive way and force someone to agree on the best possible price or arrangement
    drive something home (to somebody)
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    to make someone understand or accept something by saying it often, loudly, angrily, etc. You will really need to drive your point home.
    run/drive/work yourself into the ground
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    to work so hard that you become extremely tired
    what somebody is driving at
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    the thing someone is trying to say I wish I knew what they were driving at.
    Phrasal Verbsdrive awaydrive somebody awaydrive offdrive somebody/somethingoffdrive ondrive somebody/somethingout (of something)drive somethingup/down
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: drive