noun (1)
\ ˈdrəm How to pronounce drum (audio) \

Definition of drum

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a percussion instrument consisting of a hollow shell or cylinder with a drumhead stretched over one or both ends that is beaten with the hands or with some implement (such as a stick or wire brush)
3 : the sound of a drum also : a sound similar to that of a drum
4 : any of various chiefly marine bony fishes (family Sciaenidae) that make a drumming or croaking noise using their air bladder and associated muscles
5 : something resembling a drum in shape: such as
a(1) : any of the cylindrical blocks that form the shaft of a column
(2) : a round wall or structure that supports a dome
b : a cylindrical machine or mechanical device or part
c : a cylindrical container specifically : a large usually metal container for liquids a 55-gallon drum
d : a disk-shaped magazine for an automatic weapon


drummed; drumming

Definition of drum (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a succession of strokes or vibrations that produce sounds like drumbeats
2 : to beat a drum
3 : to throb or sound rhythmically
4 : to stir up interest : solicit

transitive verb

1 : to summon or enlist by or as if by beating a drum were drummed into service
2 : to dismiss ignominiously : expel usually used with out
3 : to drive or force by steady effort or reiteration drummed the speech into her head
4a : to strike or tap repeatedly
b : to produce (rhythmic sounds) by such action


noun (2)

Definition of drum (Entry 3 of 3)

1 chiefly Scotland : a long narrow hill or ridge
2 : drumlin

Illustration of drum

Illustration of drum

Noun (1)

1drum 1: 1 bass, 2 snare (orchestra), 3 snare (parade)

In the meaning defined above

Other Words from drum

Noun (1)

drumlike \ ˈdrəm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce drum (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for drum

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of drum in a Sentence

Verb She drummed while he played the guitar. Her fingers drummed nervously on the table. He was nervously drumming a pencil on the desk.

First Known Use of drum

Noun (1)

circa 1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1582, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1732, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for drum

Noun (1)

probably from Dutch trom; akin to Middle High German trumme drum

Noun (2)

Scottish Gaelic druim back, ridge, from Old Irish druimm

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Dictionary Entries Near drum



drum armature

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Cite this Entry

“Drum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drum. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for drum


\ ˈdrəm How to pronounce drum (audio) \

Kids Definition of drum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a musical instrument usually consisting of a metal or wooden round frame with flat ends covered by tightly stretched skin
2 : a tapping sound : a sound of or like a drum the drum of raindrops
3 : an object shaped like a cylinder an oil drum


drummed; drumming

Kids Definition of drum (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to beat or play a drum
2 : to make a tapping sound : make a sound like a drum The rain drummed on the roof.
3 : to beat or tap in a rhythmic way She drummed her fingers.
drum into
: to force (something) to be learned by repeating it over and over She drummed the lesson into our heads.
drum out of
: to force to leave (a place or organization) They drummed him out of the club.
drum up
: to gather or create by hard work We need to drum up new business.

Other Words from drum

drummer \ ˈdrə-​mər \ noun


\ ˈdrəm How to pronounce drum (audio) \

Medical Definition of drum

More from Merriam-Webster on drum

Nglish: Translation of drum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drum


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