noun (1)
\ ˈdrōn How to pronounce drone (audio) \

Definition of drone

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a stingless male bee (as of the honeybee) that has the role of mating with the queen and does not gather nectar or pollen
2 : one that lives on the labors of others : parasite
3 : an unmanned aircraft or ship guided by remote control or onboard computers
b : drudge sense 2 one of many office drones


droned; droning

Definition of drone (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to make a sustained deep murmuring, humming, or buzzing sound droning bees The air conditioner droned.
b : to talk in a persistently dull or monotonous tone droning on and on about his health
2 : to pass, proceed, or act in a dull, drowsy, or indifferent manner The afternoon droned on.

transitive verb

1 : to utter or pronounce with a drone
2 : to pass or spend in dull or monotonous activity or in idleness droning the years away


noun (2)

Definition of drone (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a deep sustained or monotonous sound : hum the drone of the motor
2 music : an instrument or part of an instrument (such as one of the fixed-pitch pipes of a bagpipe) that sounds a continuous unvarying tone
3 music : pedal point

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Other Words from drone


droner noun
droningly \ ˈdrō-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce droningly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for drone

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun (2)

Antonyms: Noun (1)

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Examples of drone in a Sentence

Verb We could hear wasps droning in the garden. the sound of droning bees all around us

First Known Use of drone

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1520, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for drone

Noun (1), Verb, and Noun (2)

Middle English, from Old English drān; akin to Old High German treno drone, Greek thrēnos dirge

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Time Traveler for drone

Time Traveler

The first known use of drone was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Drone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drone. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for drone



English Language Learners Definition of drone

: to make a continuous low humming sound


\ ˈdrōn How to pronounce drone (audio) \

Kids Definition of drone

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a male bee


droned; droning

Kids Definition of drone (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make or to speak with a low dull tone or hum The speaker droned on and on.



Kids Definition of drone (Entry 3 of 3)

: a low dull tone or hum

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More from Merriam-Webster on drone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drone

Spanish Central: Translation of drone

Nglish: Translation of drone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drone for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drone

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