There are 4 main definitions of drill in English:

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drill1

Syllabification: drill
Pronunciation: /dril
 
/

noun

1A hand tool, power tool, or machine with a rotating cutting tip or reciprocating hammer or chisel, used for making holes.
Example sentences
  • Most of the project requires basic wood-working tools - a circular saw, a saber saw, an electric drill, a hammer, and a nail set.
  • The clatter of hammers, drills and sanders drown out the voices of the workers.
  • It's funny, my grandfather's tools were objects that have been around in one form or another for hundreds if not thousands of years, like hammers, drills, screwdrivers and nails.
Synonyms
drilling tool, boring tool, auger, (brace and) bit, gimlet, awl, bradawl
1.1A tool used by a dentist for cutting away part of a tooth before filling it.
Example sentences
  • Your dentist will remove any decay or old filling from the tooth with a drill.
  • Some of the surrounding bone can then be removed with a drill to lift the tooth out in one piece.
  • Laser technology, too, is developing and in time may replace the drill in restorative dentistry.
2Instruction or training in military exercises: parade-ground drill
More example sentences
  • The perfection of the troops' training was revealed when a display of parade-ground drill helped to extricate the army from a trap in the Balkan mountains.
  • Training of farmer militiamen involved mainly military drill and volley fire, often on the village green or nearby field.
  • Military drill and discipline, as well as seamanship are still part of the book.
Synonyms
training, instruction, coaching, teaching;
(physical) exercises, workout
2.1Intensive instruction or training in something, typically by means of repeated exercises: tables can be mastered by drill and practice language-learning drills
More example sentences
  • The basketball coach or the music teacher needs no convincing regarding the value of drill and practice on fundamental skills.
  • Thus, problem solving and analysis replace drill and practice, and calculators replace paper-and-pencil computation.
  • After two hours of repeating the same drill over and over again, it was time for riding.
2.2A rehearsal of the procedure to be followed in an emergency: air-raid drills
More example sentences
  • Managers said they were looking at reducing stocks of hazardous chemicals, rehearsing emergency drills and having extra staff safety briefings.
  • Our kids had been rushed out of school in an emergency drill.
  • Unlike a real emergency, drills can be fun, but they are also stressful.
2.3 (the drill) informal The correct or recognized procedure or way of doing something: he didn’t know the drill
More example sentences
  • The two journalists had viewed successful shuttle landings, so they knew the drill.
  • I was well aware of the drill here, that is, that a bribe was expected to process the papers.
  • Everybody who has ever worked Christmas in a newsroom knows the drill: there are certain standard news stories that run every year.
Synonyms
procedure, routine, practice, regimen, program, schedule;
3A predatory mollusk that bores into the shells of other mollusks in order to feed on the soft tissue.
Example sentences
  • It must still run a gauntlet of periwinkles, oyster drills, and mud and basket snails, most of which leave egg masses that cover any undeveloped real estate on the shell.
  • Oyster drills feed on oysters by drilling a hole directly through the oyster's shell.
  • The drill is a common predator of the bivalves here in the reserve.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Produce (a hole) in something by or as if by boring with a drill: drill holes through the tiles for the masonry pins
More example sentences
  • His feet covered with mud, he smoothes the sides of the wall and uses a stick to drill holes through the top, pushing the straw within the mixture through to the layers underneath.
  • A private concrete boring firm was brought in and they drilled a hole big enough for the child to crawl out.
  • Divers descended into the water yesterday in a special bell supplied by the Norwegian diving support ship Mayo and began work to mark sections of the hull where holes will be drilled to attach cables to lift the vessel.
1.1Make a hole in (something) by boring with a drill: a power tool for drilling wood
More example sentences
  • Drilling can be done with many of the same tools you use for drilling wood or metal, including twist drills, brad point drill bits, spade bits or a hole saw with a pilot bit.
  • Remove the bracket, drill the wall as necessary and fix the bracket in position using the appropriate wall plugs and screws.
  • Once I'd marked and drilled the wood I realised that they weren't screws, they were bolts.
1.2 [no object] Make a hole in or through something by using a drill: do not attempt to drill through a joist figurative his eyes drilled into her
More example sentences
  • More advanced iceberg miners drill deep into the iceberg to get below more recent layers that are contaminated by the fallout of industrial chemicals.
  • No, you don't have to drill through walls, and it's relatively fast.
  • Scientists said this week they had drilled into the lower section of Earth's crust for the first time and were poised to break through to the mantle in coming years.
Synonyms
bore a hole in, make a hole in;
bore, pierce, puncture, perforate
1.3 [no object] Sink a borehole in order to obtain a certain substance, typically oil or water: they are licensed to drill for oil in the area (as noun drilling) drilling should begin next year
More example sentences
  • He plans to drill for water and sell it by pipeline to the city of Dallas.
  • He added that the site, off Wheatley Hall Road, had been deemed a site of scientific interest, therefore any plans to drill for gas would be contrary to the Doncaster unitary development plan.
  • Ranchers and environmentalists are again coming together to fight a proposal to drill for oil and gas in southern Alberta, this time near the protected Whaleback region.
1.4(Of a dentist) cut away part of (a tooth) before filling it.
Example sentences
  • But next time your dentist needs to drill your teeth are you going to decline the anaesthetic and ask for an arnica tablet instead?
  • After having your teeth drilled, dentists advise their patients to wait a few hours before eating ice cream, having school photos taken, or writing screenplays.
  • Would you rather have your teeth drilled by a dentist than make or follow a list?
1.5 informal (Of a sports player) hit, throw, or kick (a ball or puck) hard and in a straight line: Rose drilled a ball deep to right center
More example sentences
  • He drilled a low shot straight into the arms of Howard in the United goal.
  • He drilled a 25 yard shot that skimmed the bar.
  • Thus galvanised, the home side levelled in 58 minutes when Stephen Whalen drilled a powerful shot low into the keeper's far corner.
2Subject (someone) to military training exercises: a sergeant was drilling new recruits
More example sentences
  • This training was underpinned by punitive disciplinary codes; troops were drilled, flogged, and caned into being more afraid of their officers than they were of the enemy.
  • Thus, the soldiers were drilled and dressed for the effect that it had on them.
  • For children there will be face painting, paintball and the chance to try on national service uniforms and be drilled by a humorous sergeant major re-enactor.
Synonyms
2.1 [no object] (Of a person) take part in military training exercises: the troops were drilling
More example sentences
  • I watched the Citadel guard drilling in the exercise hall.
  • There are still less than 350 of us including officers and when we are not patrolling, we are drilling ceaselessly both on foot and on horse.
  • Even now the Guard was drilling in the courtyard below, and a delegation of regiments from the army was due to arrive tomorrow.
2.2Instruct (someone) in something by the means of repeated exercises or practice: I reacted instinctively because I had been drilled to do just that
More example sentences
  • If you take him, you had better be very confident that your coaching staff will be willing to work with the kid in practice and drill him every day.
  • Young will later thank God his firearms instructors drilled him intensively in weak hand only shooting.
  • He was yesterday morning spotted at the grounds drilling the team.
2.3 (drill something into) Cause (someone) to learn something by repeating it regularly: his mother had drilled into him the need to pay for one’s sins
More example sentences
  • Accordingly, the teacher generally chose a short easy book and for the twelve months prior to inspection drilled each page into the pupils until most of them had memorised the whole work.
  • To Green's mind, this approach is more likely to teach about our current mediated experience of the world than to drill historical facts into young minds.
  • He is still trying to drill the notion into the heads of his partners.
Synonyms
instill, hammer, drive, drum, din, implant, ingrain;
teach, indoctrinate, brainwash

Origin

early 17th century: from Middle Dutch drillen 'bore, turn in a circle'.

Phrasal verbs

drill down

1
Computing Access data that is in a lower level of a hierarchically structured database: just click on a button and drill down until you find the level of detail you require [as modifier]: a drill-down menu of topics
More example sentences
  • The reporting interface is done well, and it allows you to drill down to various levels of detail.
  • If you feel, however, that the e-mail might be legit, log in to your account using the company's Web site and drill down to the personal account information page yourself.
  • Upon visiting the home page, the user types in the name of the site, rather than drilling down a hierarchy of categorized links.

Derivatives

driller

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Many companies will be involved in the project from construction contractors to drillers to transportation firms.
  • The oil drillers are worried about icebergs crashing into their platforms or sinking their tankers.
  • Most of these early drillers and operators were local folk, or members of an industrious and close-knit fraternity who had grown up in and around the salt well or oil-skimming business.

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There are 4 main definitions of drill in English:

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drill2

Syllabification: drill
Pronunciation: /dril
 
/

noun

1A machine that makes small furrows, sows seed in them, and then covers the sown seed.
Example sentences
  • The seed can be broadcast and harrowed, lightly disked, or seeded with a grain drill.
  • You might also consider getting a no-till drill and direct seeding the hay into the field.
  • Seeding with a disc drill in a loose seedbed almost guarantees disaster and should probably be delayed until there is moisture.
1.1A small furrow, especially one made by a drill.
Example sentences
  • Select an easy-to-grow variety, such as ‘Joi Choi’, and sow the seeds in ½ in-deep drills.
  • Choose a sheltered, sunny spot with a fertile, well-drained soil and sow the seeds in 1in-deep drills.
  • Parsnips are not available as seedlings in garden centres, so sow seeds directly into drills in the garden bed according to the instructions on the packet.
1.2A ridge with a furrow on top made by a drill.
1.3A row of plants sown in a furrow made by a drill: drills of lettuces
More example sentences
  • Hillis never got to grips with thinning out vegetable drills with a hoe, and did it on all fours, tying an old sack round her knees to save her trousers.
  • We simply do not have the space for well-organised drills of vegetables that lead to a wicker gate opening out onto a woodland meadow.
  • Parallel drills of seedlings quickly grow to form a dense carpet over the ground.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1(Of a person or machine) sow (seed) with a drill: crops drilled in autumn
More example sentences
  • When planting here, to reach the moisture necessary for germination, farmers drill their seeds eight inches into the soil.
  • Conventional alfalfa plantings involve several tillage operations to prepare a seedbed, followed by drilling the alfalfa seed.
  • Seed is broadcast or drilled on the pastures in late winter or early spring.
1.1Plant (the ground) in furrows: (as noun drilling) accurate ridging and drilling make hoeing much easier
More example sentences
  • I did all this in the school holidays, as well as ploughing, combining and seed drilling, to earn the money to go into business.
  • Because wheat emerges so quickly, weeds must be killed before drilling using tillage or contact herbicides.
  • Areas in fields which were more like small lakes than arable land have dried out and are now drilled with corn.

Origin

early 18th century (as a noun in the sense 'small furrow'): perhaps from drill1.

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There are 4 main definitions of drill in English:

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drill3

Syllabification: drill
Pronunciation: /dril
 
/

noun

A dark brown baboon with a short tail and a naked blue or purple rump, found in the rain forests of West Africa. Compare with mandrill.
  • Mandrillus leucophaeus, family Cercopithecidae
Example sentences
  • Drills once congregated by the thousands in the rainforest. Now they are among the rarest primates.
  • One baboon-like monkey who is seriously endangered but still hunted illegally is the drill.
  • The Drill’s endangerment is primarily a result of hunting as well as habitat destruction.

Origin

mid 17th century: probably a local word. Compare with mandrill.

Definition of drill in:

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There are 4 main definitions of drill in English:

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drill4

Syllabification: drill
Pronunciation: /dril
 
/

noun

A coarse twilled cotton or linen fabric.
Example sentences
  • Cargo pants are available in all kinds of fabrics, from cotton drill to pale pink satin, and, frankly, they're none the better for it.
  • Virtually every book published is a library-bound hard cover edition, side-sewen and reinforced with cotton drill.
  • The bags are made of heavy cotton drill and have a top cover that's easily removable for washing.

Origin

early 18th century: abbreviation of earlier drilling, from German Drillich, from Latin trilix 'triple-twilled', from tri- 'three' + licium 'thread'.

Definition of drill in:

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