driving force

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driving force

The primary instigator, catalyst, or motivator that compels or directs something to happen. Major financial losses were the driving force behind the layoffs. For over 40 years she has been the driving force of this company, so her retirement leaves its future somewhat uncertain. He dreamed of being a driving force in his country's government someday.
See also: driving, force
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*the driving force (behind someone or something )

the person or a thing that motivates or directs someone or something. (*Typically: be ~; become ~; serve as~.) Making money is the driving force behind most businesses. Ambition is the driving force behind Tom. Love can also be the driving force.
See also: driving, force
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

driving force

The impetus, power, or energy behind something in motion, as in He was clearly the driving force in the new administration. This term transfers the force that sets in motion an engine or vehicle to other enterprises. Ralph Waldo Emerson was among the first to use it figuratively ( English Traits, 1856): "The ability of its journals is the driving force."
See also: driving, force
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

the driving ˈforce (behind something)

the person or thing that makes something happen: She is the driving force behind this new road safety campaign.
See also: driving, force
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
I think we may say the same of all the habits and aptitudes that we acquire in all of them there has been present throughout some instinctive activity, prompting at first rather inefficient movements, but supplying the driving force while more and more effective methods are being acquired.
The great driving force of the oligarchs is the belief that they are doing right.
Mr Goodyear was one of the driving forces behind the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy, which now draws an international audience to the north-east.
Summary: The bank said growth in bank balances and deposits overseas were the driving forces behind the rise
Among the driving forces behind the project is club stalwart and former Offaly senior football goalkeeper Laz Molloy.
In the equations, T is the air temperature of the 50 km * 50 km Fengyun satellite pixel; [T.sub.ad] is the temperature contribution of advective driving force on the basis of the 50 km * 50 km large-scale air average value; [T.sub.rt] is the temperature contribution of radiant and turbulent driving forces on the basis of 50 km * 50 km surface temperature average value.
4, where kinematic parameters from actuated and passive joints are included), the obtained driving forces on the trajectory (Figure 2, continuous lines) have a similar profile with the displacement variation.
As the voice of the industry, REBNY is among the driving forces that keep it strong and I am proud to be able to play a part and humbled to have been asked to serve as its chairman.
American Scientific Publishers (ASP; Stevenson Ranch, CA) has launched "Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy," a new quarterly journal that covers all forms of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), one of the driving forces behind the rapid development of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Bowman, a 26-year veteran of the 27-district wide career technical school system in southeastern Ohio, cites preparation for careers and post-secondary education--more than half of MVCTC students go on to two- and four-year post-secondary schools--as the other primary driving forces in the school's commitment to improve communication skills.
Beneath these factors, in turn, lie the more fundamental driving forces: growth in our population and increasing consumption per person.
MTNA members are uniquely positioned to be driving forces in helping their local communities sustain and increase access to music education.
On the one hand, the United States and the European Union continue to be the "traditional" driving forces of the global economy, accounting for more than half of global trade and investment.
A "must-read" primer for any beginning student of Middle East society, and a vital resource for anyone striving to better understand the setting and driving forces behind world news headlines.
This metaphor was supported by the findings of the study whereby persisters reported fewer restraining forces while switchers reported fewer driving forces. The two driving forces that are common among persisters and switchers are formal support programs and peer support programs.