Warpdrive propulsion systems were vital starship components that allowed starships to enter warp-space to traverse the vast distances of space at faster-than-light speeds. Thus, they were a key technology in the foundation of the galactic society, trade and war. The term was used to describe the engine and all components required for its use.
In short, the warpdrive allowed travelers to traverse astounding distances counted in hundreds or even thousands of light years in a matter of few hours or days, the exact travel time depending on a number of factors including destination, point of origin, route, and class of the warpdrive.
The warpdrive was generally built from a vanadium-chromium compound. That compound was specifically designed for warpdrives to allow them to stand up against continual stress put on them when jumping between the dimensions of realspace and warp-space.