English Dictionary

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drums (drʌmz) 


plural noun

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

drum1 (drʌm Pronunciation for drum1



  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 (computing) a rotating cylindrical device on which data may be stored for later retrieval: now mostly superseded by disks See disk (sense 2)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,  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 Pronunciation for drum2



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

Word Origin

C18: from Scottish Gaelic druim

Example Sentences Including 'drums'

She ran to where Graham was crouched and ducked down behind the drums.
MacNeill, Alastair Code Breaker
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
The cap, stuck upright in some sludge, was at the foot of the drums.
Robert Wilson BLOOD IS DIRT (2002)


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