English Dictionary

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Definitions of drums

drums (drʌmz) 


plural noun

  1. (music) a drum kit or set of drums   ⇒  ■ I play drums.,   ⇒  ■ with Pete Ryan on drums

drum1 (drʌm



  1. (music) a percussion instrument sounded by striking a membrane stretched across the opening of a hollow cylinder or hemisphere
  2. See beat the drum for

  3. the sound produced by a drum or any similar sound
  4. an object that resembles a drum in shape, such as a large spool or a cylindrical container
  5. (architecture)
    1. one of a number of cylindrical blocks of stone used to construct the shaft of a column
    2. the wall or structure supporting a dome or cupola
  6. short for eardrum
  7. Also called: : drumfish any of various North American marine and freshwater sciaenid fishes, such as Equetus pulcher (striped drum), that utter a drumming sound
  8. a type of hollow rotor for steam turbines or axial compressors
  9. (computing) a rotating cylindrical device on which data may be stored for later retrieval: now mostly superseded by disks . See disk (sense 2
  10. (archaic) a drummer
  11. See the drum



Word forms:   drums,  drumming or ,  drummed
  1. to play (music) on or as if on a drum
  2. to beat or tap (the fingers) rhythmically or regularly
  3. (intransitive) (of birds) to produce a rhythmic sound, as by beating the bill against a tree, branch, etc
  4. (transitive) sometimes foll by up to summon or call by drumming
  5. (transitive) to instil by constant repetition   ⇒  ■ to drum an idea into someone's head

Word Origin

C16: probably from Middle Dutch tromme, of imitative origin


View thesaurus entry
= barrel, tank, container, cylinder, canister, cask
= pounding, beat, rhythm, thump, thumping, throb, vibration, patter, pitter-patter

drum2 (drʌm



  1. (Scottish & and Irish) a narrow ridge or hill

Word Origin

C18: from Scottish Gaelic druim

Example Sentences Including 'drums'

The cap, stuck upright in some sludge, was at the foot of the drums.
Robert Wilson BLOOD IS DIRT (2002)
She would deliver anything from a small parcel to pallets of fertilizer or drums of fuel or even schoolchildren.
Lunnon-Wood, Mike Let Not the Deep
She ran to where Graham was crouched and ducked down behind the drums.
MacNeill, Alastair Code Breaker


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