- strongly emphasize or reinforce a point.
- stresses a central message or focuses on the main point.
- drive home means to reinforce or reiterate with force and clarity.
- make an idea or concept understandable and unmistakable.
- impress something on someone with repeated statements.
- give added force to an idea or statement to imprint it upon the listener.
- press a point with intensity or vigor until the listener fully comprehends it.
- to return home by driving (literal meaning).
- The instructor repeated the key point slowly to drive home the importance of following safety procedures.
- The passionate speech by the activist seemed to drive home the urgency of taking action on the issue.
- The hardships they experienced served to drive home the realities of poverty and struggle.
- The crash caused major damage and helped drive home the importance of driving carefully and defensively.
- Looking at photos of the victims helped drive home the human impact of the tragedy.
- The mother tried to drive home the dangers of drinking and driving to her teenage son.
- The biology lesson drove home the concept of cellular respiration through demonstrations and experiments.
- His direct words drove home how much he cared, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
The phrase ‘drive home’ originally referred to literally driving a transport vehicle home after a journey. Over time, it developed a figurative meaning of forcefully and repeatedly communicating an idea to ensure it is fully understood.
The earliest known usage of the phrase was in 1607 by Samuel Hieron, according to The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. The sentence read: “That I may … drive home the nail of this exhortation even to the head” using ‘drive’ in the sense of driving in a nail firmly rather than driving a car.
Figuratively, to ‘drive home a point’ means to make an argument forcefully and emphatically so it has the intended impact and “reaches home” with the listeners. The phrase likely arose from the notion of navigating a long-distance journey to reach one’s destination, paralleling the determination needed to get an idea through to an audience.
In this way, the phrase ‘drive home’ has evolved from its original meaning of literally driving a vehicle home to the metaphorical sense of forcefully communicating an idea until it is fully understood.