There are 3 definitions of drum in English:


Syllabification: drum
Pronunciation: /drəm


1A percussion instrument sounded by being struck with sticks or the hands, typically cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or bowl-shaped with a taut membrane over one or both ends.
More example sentences
  • And the third setting is just right for recording louder sound sources such as drums or percussion instruments.
  • The teacher gave each kid a rhythm instrument to play - drums, cymbals, sticks, and so on.
  • So what about percussion instruments: drums, cymbals, tympani - can they express emotion too?
percussion instrument; bongo, tom-tom, snare drum, kettledrum, bodhrán
historical tambour
1.1 (drums) A set of drums.
More example sentences
  • I grew up playing music with my brother - I played drums and he played guitar mostly rock stuff.
  • We then took a break for a few months and played our next gig nine months later, this time as a four piece with Tom on rhythm guitar and Martin on drums.
  • This is Chris, his home computer, a guitar, some second hand drums, and several months of late nights whilst holding down the day job.
1.2 (drums) The percussion section of a band or orchestra.
More example sentences
  • Intensity and loudness increases by the middle of the movement, with some sharp attacks by the strings, with drums and syncopated rhythms.
  • While the 72nd Sutton Music Festival will benefit from a grant of £300 to enable organisers to set up a new section for drums and keyboard musicians.
  • Jazz bands without drums or bass oblige the remaining participants to be extremely industrious.
1.3 [in singular] A sound made by or resembling that of a drum: the drum of their feet
More example sentences
  • She heard the tin whistle begin, and without even realising she was doing it, began tapping her feet to the ever-present drum.
  • To the drum of a coxswain, international member paddlers of the Shanghai Shang Long Dragon Boat Team press forward on Dianshan Lake.
  • Beyond the sound of their chit-chat you sense the sonorous vibe of the African bush - from the hum of mosquito through the drum of cicada to the snorts of the hippos - closing in.
beat, rhythm, patter, tap, pounding, thump, thud, rattle, pitter-patter, pit-a-pat, rat-a-tat, thrum
1.4 historical A military drummer.
2Something resembling or likened to a drum in shape, in particular.
2.1A cylindrical container or receptacle. See also oil drum.
More example sentences
  • Though barrels may be close to extinct, companies still ship some oil in 55-gallon steel drums.
  • Inside the drum's body is a padlocked hatch into which the money falls.
  • Inside the bottomless drum are mixed items waiting to be sorted, treasures waiting to be uncovered.
canister, barrel, cylinder, tank, bin, can; container
2.2A rotating cylindrical part in a washing machine, in which the laundry is placed.
More example sentences
  • Instead they may show excessive interest in repetitive activities, such as lining up their toys or watching the washing machine drum rotate for an extended period of time.
  • Mohsan likened clock speeds to the RPM's of washing machine drums.
  • Our baits were stored in large metal washing machine drums that we had shipped out specifically for the purpose, this kept them in superb condition.
2.3A cylindrical part in certain other appliances.
More example sentences
  • The drum rotates as one moves the pedals, like in a bicycle.
  • The other side piece is located between the crank shaft and the drum, which rotate relative to each other.
  • A direct-drive gearbox rotates the drum without the use of external gears.
2.4 Architecture The circular vertical wall supporting a dome.
More example sentences
  • Foster and Partners' solution was to clad the circular drum with limestone to match the courtyard walls.
  • Portions of this platform could then be removed in stages to allow the drum of the dome to be constructed through the platform.
  • Sydney's brick drum, which was never intended to be seen from the outside, is being given a Portland stone skin.
2.5 Architecture A stone block forming part of a column.
More example sentences
  • Today several column drums and capitals are to be found in GD 80.
  • The Corinthian pronaos surmounted by a drum in Juvarra's design for the facade was only added in the 19th century.
3An evening or afternoon tea party of a kind that was popular in the late 18th and early 19th century.

verb (drums, drumming, drummed)

[no object] Back to top  
1Play on a drum.
More example sentences
  • Both performances drew heavily on Melanesian sounds - interspersed with high energy chanting, drumming and dancing.
  • They work at festivals, so there are lots of people that can help out with drumming and energy work while they do their thing.
  • This was the real deal too - none of your tourist queso malarkey, just a bunch of locals sitting around, strumming and drumming and clapping and singing.
1.1Make a continuous rhythmic noise: she felt the blood drumming in her ears (as noun drumming) the drumming of hooves
More example sentences
  • Her voice was quaking, panicked in a way that sent my blood drumming in my ears.
  • He had natural rhythm and he'd drum on pots and pans.
  • She hadn't been this close to him in a long time, so close she could hear his heart drumming by her ear, feel the rhythm of his breathing.
1.2 [with object] Beat (the fingers, feet, etc.) repeatedly on a surface, especially as a sign of impatience or annoyance: waiting around an empty table, drumming their fingers
More example sentences
  • Ava sat on the edge of the bed, twirling her hair around her fingers, and Damien drummed his feet against the headboard.
  • I was there a minute or two, just tapped my feet nervously and drumming my fingers on the steering wheel to some unknown beat.
  • She drummed her fingers impatiently against the smooth surface of the table, eyes watching the baristas as they made drink after drink.
tap, beat, rap, thud, thump; tattoo, thrum
1.3(Of a woodpecker) strike the bill rapidly on a dead trunk or branch, especially as a sound indicating a territorial claim.
More example sentences
  • I listened to great spotted woodpeckers drumming on the trunks of trees.
  • On Jan. 27, searchers recorded pairs of loud raps, as if a huge woodpecker were drumming on a hollow tree.
  • Woodpeckers are drumming, sparrows are singing, and around the North Shore people are venturing out into their yards to garden.
1.4(Of a snipe) vibrate the outer tail feathers in a diving display flight, making a throbbing sound.
More example sentences
  • A buzzard, high above, hung on the thermals and the sound of drumming snipe reminded me that this, after all, was summer.
  • The next morning, drumming snipe provide my wake-up call, and, in soft sunshine, I wander down to the shore.
  • Other breeding waders include 19 drumming snipe, 3 pairs of dunlin and 4 pairs of ringed plover.


Middle English: from Middle Dutch or Low German tromme, of imitative origin.


beat (or bang) the drum for (or against)

Be ostentatiously in support of (or in opposition to): he limited campaign contributions in order to beat the drum against political action committees feminists bang the drum for ‘quality time.’
More example sentences
  • Deputy chair of Scottish Enterprise, he bangs the drum for business formation, pushing resources into the best growth prospects.
  • And I'll continue to beat the drum for those companies and agencies brave enough to push the proverbial envelope.
  • Now we have to got to beat the drum of English Heritage.

Phrasal verbs

drum something into

Drive a lesson into (someone) by constant repetition: it had been drummed into them to dress correctly
More example sentences
  • The manners we learn as kids are drummed into our heads by rote, much like multiplication tables.
  • Some people say I'm like a parrot, because I keep trying to drum good habits into players, day after day.
  • Manchester United legend Paddy Crerand never had any careers advice - his teachers had to drag him from the football pitch to drum some education into him.
instill, drive, din, hammer, drill, implant, ingrain, inculcate

drum someone out

Expel or dismiss someone with ignominy from a place or institution: he was drummed out of the air force
[with allusion to the formal military drumbeat accompanying dismissal from a regiment]
More example sentences
  • I suspect he thought I intended to cut off his uniform buttons and drum him out of the service then and there.
  • Asked why Ford was not drummed out of the British Army Heath retorted, ‘I am not responsible for discipline in the British Army.’
  • The major must wait to discover whether he will be drummed out of the British Army, pending an internal investigation, while it's probable Whittock will lose his job as well.

drum something up

Attempt to obtain something by canvassing or soliciting: the organizers are hoping to drum up support from local businesses
More example sentences
  • He said that once sufficient public support was drummed up, the organization would file a class action suit against the government if it continued to refuse to reverse its policy.
  • Very little prior knowledge is needed to read this book - but I do presuppose some interest on the part of the reader rather than trying to drum it up myself.
  • We are launching it on the market this week and hope that it drums up interest in the property.
round up, gather, collect; summon, attract; canvass, solicit, petition

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Word of the day envenom
Pronunciation: ɪnˈvɛnəm
put poison on or into; make poisonous

There are 3 definitions of drum in English:


Syllabification: drum
Pronunciation: /


Scottish & Irish
A long narrow hill, especially one separating two parallel valleys.


early 18th century: from Scottish Gaelic and Irish druim 'ridge'.

Definition of drum in:

There are 3 definitions of drum in English:


Syllabification: drum
Pronunciation: /
(also drumfish)

noun (plural same or drums)

A fish that makes a drumming sound by vibrating its swim bladder, found mainly in estuarine and shallow coastal waters. Also called croaker.
  • Family Sciaenidae (the drum family): many species, including the black drum (Pogonias cromis) of the western Atlantic. The drum family also includes the mulloway and a number of marine fishes that resemble salmon (e.g., the weakfish)
More example sentences
  • The bay was sandy-green with marginal visibility but clarity was not a major issue because drum primarily are scent feeders.

Definition of drum in: