Definition of test drive in English:

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test drive

Pronunciation: /ˈtes(t) ˌdrīv/


1An act of driving a motor vehicle that one is considering buying in order to determine its quality.
Example sentences
  • Buying at auction might save you a few quid in the short term but unless you know what you're looking at you are probably better off scouring the classifieds and taking any car you're considering for a test drive before you part with cash.
  • Out on our test drive, in a 1.6 litre model (likely to be the bestseller), I was struck by its hushed refinement and strikingly good quality.
  • In a test drive on simulated ice, the system did not allow the driver to veer off-course and spin the car.
1.1A test of a product before purchase or release.
Example sentences
  • As I mentioned before, shopping online isn't perfect, and there is something to be said for taking a product for a test drive.
  • In the meantime, 10,000 volunteers are giving the ID card a test drive - their personal details will be captured and collated.
  • She brings a variety of paintings, framed and unframed pieces and even sculpture, clients can take for a test drive, on their walls and in their homes.


(test-drive) [with object]
1Drive (a vehicle) to determine its qualities with a view to buying it.
Example sentences
  • Weeks were also spent test-driving cars, including an undertaker's hearse, to ensure the best choice was made.
  • He might have saved himself some heartache if he had test-driven his current car, a BMW 645 convertible.
  • Eight-year-old Fionn Fitzgibbon from Dublin was delighted to be first to test-drive the racing car while other children stared wide-eyed waiting their turn.
1.1Test (a product) before purchase or release: a laboratory where they can test-drive new tools and techniques
More example sentences
  • If possible, test-drive a potential purchase, even if you end up buying the machine online.
  • As the author of PC World's weekly Mobile Computing newsletter, I've probed, prodded, and test-driven many worthwhile portable computing products.
  • The following week, by the time I test-drove my third skirt, I started to sense diminishing returns.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: test drive

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