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[drahyv-in] /ˈdraɪvˌɪn/
a motion-picture theater, refreshment stand, bank, or other public facility designed to accommodate patrons in their automobiles.
of, relating to, or characteristic of such an establishment:
Drive-in business far exceeded walk-in business.
Origin of drive-in
1925-30, Americanism; noun, adj. use of verb phrase drive in Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for drive-in
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The guy at the drive-in made a positive identification; it's the one he sold Fleming.

    Murder in the Gunroom Henry Beam Piper
  • As soon as possible, however, a shop which is large enough to have a drive-in should be rented or built.

  • On the drive-in, Adine stopped the car while Davy invoiced his available cash at sixty-five dollars.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • A drive-in is also convenient if a customer leaves his car while his battery is being repaired.

  • And this drive-in grocery that I was talking about, if you remember there—I think I had seen her there.

    Warren Commission (11 of 26): Hearings Vol. XI (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • As soon as growth of business permits, a shop should have a drive-in, so that the customer may bring his car off the street.

British Dictionary definitions for drive-in


denoting a public facility or service designed to be used by patrons seated in their cars: a drive-in bank
(mainly US & Canadian) a cinema designed to be used in such a manner
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
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Word Origin and History for drive-in

in reference to of restaurants, banks, etc., 1929; from drive (v.) + in. Of movie theaters by 1933 (the year the first one opened, in Camden, N.J.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for drive-in



: drive-in bank/ drive-in church/ drive-in movie


A place where one eats, watches movies, worships, etc, while sitting in one's parked car (1930+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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