Definition of drive verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//draɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//draɪv//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they drive
    BrE BrE//draɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//draɪv//
    he / she / it drives
    BrE BrE//draɪvz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//draɪvz//
    past simple drove
    BrE BrE//drəʊv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//droʊv//
    past participle driven
    BrE BrE//ˈdrɪvn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdrɪvn//
    -ing form driving
    BrE BrE//ˈdraɪvɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdraɪvɪŋ//
    Animal farming, Anger, 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. Shall we drive (= go there by car) or go by train? drive something He drives a taxi (= that is his job). CollocationsDrivingHaving a car have/​own/(British English) run a car ride a motorcycle/​motorbike drive/​prefer/​use an automatic/​a manual/(North American English, informal) a stick shift have/​get your car serviced/​fixed/​repaired buy/​sell a used car/(especially British English) a second-hand car take/​pass/​fail a (British English) driving test/(both North American English) driver’s test/​road test get/​obtain/​have/​lose/​carry a/​your (British English) driving licence/(North American English) driver’s licenseDriving put on/​fasten/(North American English) buckle/​wear/​undo your seat belt/​safety belt put/​turn/​leave the key in the ignition start the car/​engine (British English) change/(North American English) shift/​put something into gear press/​put your foot on the brake pedal/​clutch/​accelerator release the clutch/(especially British English) the handbrake/(both North American English) the emergency brake/​the parking brake drive/​park/​reverse the car (British English) indicate left/​right (especially North American English) signal that you are turning left/​right take/​miss (British English) the turning/(especially North American English) the turn apply/​hit/​slam on the brake(s) beep/​honk/(especially British English) toot/(British English) sound 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 accident/(North American English) a car wreck/​a hit-and-run be run over/​knocked down by a car/​bus/​truck dent/​hit (British English) the bonnet/(North American English) the hood break/​crack/​shatter (British English) the windscreen/(North American English) the windshield blow/(especially British English) burst/​puncture (British English) a tyre/(North American English) a tire get/​have (British English) a flat tyre/​a flat tire/​a puncture inflate/​change/​fit/​replace/​check a tyre/​tire Traffic and driving regulations be caught in/​get stuck in/​sit in a traffic jam cause congestion/​tailbacks/​traffic jams/​gridlock experience/​face lengthy delays beat/​avoid the traffic/​the rush hour break/​observe/(North American English) drive the speed limit be caught on (British English) a speed camera stop somebody for/​pull somebody over for/(British English, informal) be done for speeding (both informal) run/(British English) jump a red light/​the lights be arrested for/​charged with (British English) drink-driving/(both US English) driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) be banned/(British English) disqualified from driving See related entries: Driving
  2. 2  [transitive] drive somebody (+ adv./prep.) to take somebody somewhere in a car, taxi, etc. Could you drive me home? Synonymstakelead escort drive show walk guide usher directThese words all mean to go with somebody from one place to another.take to go with somebody from one place to another, for example in order to show them something or to show them the way to a place:It’s too far to walk—I’ll take you by car.lead to go with or go in front of somebody 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 somebody in order to protect or guard them or to show them the way:The president arrived, escorted by twelve bodyguards.drive to take somebody somewhere in a car, taxi, etc:My mother drove us to the airport.show to take somebody 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 somebody 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 somebody the way to a place, often by going with them; to show somebody a place that you know well:She guided us through the busy streets. We were guided around the museums.usher (rather formal) to politely take or show somebody where they should go, especially within a building:She ushered her guests to their seats.direct (rather formal) to tell or show somebody 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 somebody around/​round to take/​lead/​escort/​drive/​walk somebody home to take/​lead/​escort/​guide somebody to safety to lead/​show the way See related entries: Driving
  3. 3  [transitive] drive something to own or use a particular type of vehicle What car do you drive? See related entries: Driving
  4. machine
  5. 4  [transitive, usually passive] drive something to provide the power that makes a machine work a steam-driven locomotive
  6. make somebody do something
  7. 5  [transitive] drive somebody (+ adv./prep.) to force somebody to act in a particular way The urge to survive drove them on. You're driving yourself too hard.
  8. 6  [transitive] to make somebody very angry, crazy, etc. or to make them do something extreme drive somebody + adj. to drive somebody 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). See related entries: Anger
  9. make somebody/something move
  10. 7[transitive] drive somebody/something + adv./prep. to force somebody/something to move in a particular direction to drive sheep into a field The enemy was driven back. See related entries: Animal farming
  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 sport
  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. Word OriginOld English drīfan ‘urge (a person or animal) to go forward’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch drijven and German treiben.Extra examples He was arrested for driving recklessly. I’ll drive you home. She drove quickly back to the office. She got into the car and drove away. We drove from Quebec to Ottawa. You shouldn’t drive so fast! driving from London to Manchester Driving lessons can be expensive. Have you ever driven a racing car? He drives a taxi. He took a wooden peg and drove it into the ground. Hunger drove them to steal. I asked the man to drive me home. I learned to drive when I was 25. It’s enough to drive you to drink. It’s the story of a teenager driven to despair by the hypocrisy of the adult world. My mother drove us to the airport. Shall we drive or go by train? Someone had driven a nail deep into the wood. The knife had been driven through his heart. They run a driving school in Birmingham. They were driven to an unknown place in the hills. They’re intending to drive from Seattle down to San Diego. We drove the rest of the way in silence. We must have driven over 600 kilometres today. What type of car do you drive? You need a special licence to drive a heavy goods vehicle. You’re driving yourself too hard.Idioms
    as clean, pure, etc. as the driven snow
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    extremely clean, pure, etc.
    drive a coach and horses through something
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    to spoil something, for example a plan
    drive/strike a hard bargain
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    to argue in an aggressive way and force somebody to agree on the best possible price or arrangement
    drive something home (to somebody)
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    to make somebody 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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    (informal) the thing somebody is trying to say I wish I knew what they were driving at.
    Phrasal Verbsdrive awaydrive somebody awaydrive down somethingdrive offdrive off somebodydrive ondrive out somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: drive