Drum (?), n. [Cf. D. trom, trommel, LG. trumme, G. trommel, Dan. tromme, Sw. trumma, OHG. trumba a trumpet, Icel. pruma a clap of thunder, and as a verb, to thunder, Dan. drum a booming sound, drumme to boom; prob. partly at least of imitative origin; perh. akin to E. trum, or trumpet.]

1. Mus.

An instrument of percussion, consisting either of a hollow cylinder, over each end of which is stretched a piece of skin or vellum, to be beaten with a stick; or of a metallic hemisphere (kettledrum) with a single piece of skin to be so beaten; the common instrument for marking time in martial music; one of the pair of tympani in an orchestra, or cavalry band.

The drums cry bud-a-dub. Gascoigne.


Anything resembling a drum in form

; as: (a)

A sheet iron radiator, often in the shape of a drum, for warming an apartment by means of heat received from a stovepipe, or a cylindrical receiver for steam, etc.


A small cylindrical box in which figs, etc., are packed.

(c) Anat.

The tympanum of the ear; -- often, but incorrectly, applied to the tympanic membrane

. (d) Arch.

One of the cylindrical, or nearly cylindrical, blocks, of which the shaft of a column is composed; also, a vertical wall, whether circular or polygonal in plan, carrying a cupola or dome

. (e) Mach.

A cylinder on a revolving shaft, generally for the purpose of driving several pulleys, by means of belts or straps passing around its periphery; also, the barrel of a hoisting machine, on which the rope or chain is wound.

3. Zool.

See Drumfish.


A noisy, tumultuous assembly of fashionable people at a private house; a rout.


Not unaptly styled a drum, from the noise and emptiness of the entertainment. Smollett.

⇒ There were also drum major, rout, tempest, and hurricane, differing only in degrees of multitude and uproar, as the significant name of each declares.


A tea party; a kettledrum.

G. Eliot.

Bass drum. See in the Vocabulary. -- Double drum. See under Double.


© Webster 1913.

Drum, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Drummed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Drumming.]


To beat a drum with sticks; to beat or play a tune on a drum.


To beat with the fingers, as with drumsticks; to beat with a rapid succession of strokes; to make a noise like that of a beaten drum; as, the ruffed grouse drums with his wings.

Drumming with his fingers on the arm of his chair. W. Irving.


To throb, as the heart.




To go about, as a drummer does, to gather recruits, to draw or secure partisans, customers, etc,; -- with for.


© Webster 1913.

Drum, v. t.


To execute on a drum, as a tune.


(With out) To expel ignominiously, with beat of drum; as, to drum out a deserter or rogue from a camp, etc.


(With up) To assemble by, or as by, beat of drum; to collect; to gather or draw by solicitation; as, to drum up recruits; to drum up customers.


© Webster 1913.