I checked a few dictionaries and realized that the verb гнать means, in general:

  • to make something move; to drive sth./sb. out of somewhere (as a transitive verb)

  • to run fast by vehicle: гнать на машине(as an intransitive verb)

But, if I remember correctly, once I heard the sentence "гонит кровь по жилам".

I can't find this meaning on any dictionary, but can гнать work as a synonym to течь?

  • 1
    well, it's literally the first meaning - to make something move - it's just that "the heart" is omitted.
    – shabunc
    Dec 17, 2018 at 10:24
  • Not necessarily "out of somewhere". It can also be "to make something move along some path/toward the destination".
    – Alexander
    Dec 17, 2018 at 18:30

3 Answers 3


I'd say it's more of push, than just neutral move as there is a notion of somewhat forced action.

One potentially can translate "сердце гонит кровь по жилам" as "heart pushes blood through the veins".

  • 1
    Pumps. The heart pumps!
    – Abakan
    Dec 17, 2018 at 2:14
  • 1
    In this particular case - yes and quite possibly can be used in other cases as well. Good point!
    – aleck
    Dec 17, 2018 at 5:25

Not an answer, but гнать can also mean to lie or to exaggerate. :) For example,

A: Иду я вчера по Ленинскому проспекту и тут приземляются марсиане.

B: Да чо ты гонишь!

It's very colloquial.

  • shortened from the expression "гнать пургу"
    – Arioch
    Dec 20, 2018 at 13:17

No, сердце гонит кровь по жилам - it's the first meaning listed. A heart makes blood move away from it.

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