Autonomous and usually sentient machine member of The Culture, in Iain M. Banks' science fiction novels. Typically equipped with various sensors, the ability to hover, and force fields (referred to just as ``fields'') for fine and coarse manipulation, protection, and emotion. (The external fields turn different colours to suggest changes in emotion.)

droid = D = drool-proof paper

drone n.

Ignorant sales or customer service personnel in computer or electronics superstores. Characterized by a lack of even superficial knowledge about the products they sell, yet possessed of the conviction that they are more competent than their hacker customers. Usage: "That video board probably sucks, it was recommended by a drone at Fry's" In the year 2000, their natural habitats include Fry's Electronics, Best Buy, and CompUSA.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Drone (?), n. [OE. drane a dronebee, AS. dran; akin to OS. dran, OHG. treno, G. drohne, Dan. drone, cf. Gr. a kind of wasp, dial. Gr. drone. Prob. named fr. the droning sound. See Drone, v. i.]

1. Zool.

The male of bees, esp. of the honeybee. It gathers no honey. See Honeybee.

All with united force combine to drive The lazy drones from the laborious hive. Dryden.


One who lives on the labors of others; a lazy, idle fellow; a sluggard.

By living as a drone,to be an unprofitable and unworthy member of so noble and learned a society. Burton.


That which gives out a grave or monotonous tone or dull sound; as: (a) A drum. [Obs.] Halliwell. (b) The part of the bagpipe containing the two lowest tubes, which always sound the key note and the fifth.


A humming or deep murmuring sound.

The monotonous drone of the wheel. Longfellow.

5. Mus.

A monotonous bass, as in a pastoral composition.


© Webster 1913.

Drone (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Droned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Droning.] [Cf. (for sense 1) D. dreunen, G. drohnen, Icel. drynja to roar, drynr a roaring, Sw. drona to bellow, drone, Dan. drone, Goth. drunjus sound, Gr. dirge, to cry aloud, Skr. dhran to sound. Cf. Drone, n.]


To utter or make a low, dull, monotonous, humming or murmuring sound.

Where the beetle wheels his droning flight. T. Gray.


To love in idleness; to do nothing.

"Race of droning kings."



© Webster 1913.

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