drum [druhm]
noun, plural drums, (especially collectively for 11) drum.


1. a musical percussion instrument, usually with a hollow, cylindrical body, covered at one or both ends with a film, membrane, or head, and beaten with a stick or hand, producing a booming or tapping sound.
2. any similar device to the above.
3. the sound produced by a drum (see 1 and 2).
4. a rumbling or booming sound.
5. a natural organ by which an animal produces a loud or bass sound.
6. an eardrum.
7. a cylindrical object with flat ends.
8. a cylindrical part of a machine.
9. a cylindrical box or receptacle, especially a large, metal one for storing or transporting liquids.

An oil drum.

10. Also called tambour. Architecture.

a. any of several cylindrical or nearly cylindrical stones laid one above the other to form a column or pier.
b. a cylindrical or faceted construction supporting a dome.

11. any of several marine and freshwater fishes of the family Sciaenidae that produce a drumming sound.
12. also called drum memory. Computers. a magnetic drum.
13. Archaic. an assembly of fashionable people at a private house in the evening.
14. a person who plays the drum (see also drummer)
15. Australian Informal. reliable, confidential, or profitable information.

verb (used without object), drummed, drumming.

16. to beat or play the drum.
17. to beat on anything rhythmically.
18. to make the sound similar to that of a drum.
19. (of ruffed grouse and other birds) to produce a sound resembling drumming.

verb (used with object), drummed, drumming.

20. perform by beating a drum (see 1).
21. to call or summon someone by beating a drum.
22. to drive or force by persistent repetition:

To drum the operation into effect.

23. to fill a drum with (see 9).

verb phrases

24. drum out,

a. (formerly) to discharge from a military service in disgrace to the beat of a drum.
b. to dismiss or discharge in disgrace.

25. drum up,

a. to call or summon someone by beating a drum.
b. to obtain or create through vigorous effort.
c. concoct; devise; produce.


26. beat the drum,

a. to promote, advertise, publicize.


1535-45; back formation from drumslade drum, drummer, alteration of Dutch or Low German trommelslag drumbeat, equivalent to trommel drum + slag beat (akin to slagen to beat; cognate with slay )