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.