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drone 1

1. A male bee, especially a honeybee, that is characteristically stingless, performs no work, and produces no honey. Its only function is to mate with the queen bee.
2. An idle person who lives off others; a loafer.
3. A person who does tedious or menial work; a drudge: "undervalued drones who labored in obscurity" (Caroline Bates).
4. A remotely controlled or autonomous aircraft with no pilot on board. Also called unmanned aircraft system.

[Middle English, from Old English drān. Sense 4, originally 1930s US naval jargon introduced by Commander (later Rear Admiral) Delmer Fahrney (1898-1984), in reference to the fact that such pilotless aircraft, at first used for target practice, were controlled by an operator on the ground or in a mother ship or aircraft, likened to a queen bee.]

drone 2

v. droned, dron·ing, drones
1. To make a continuous low dull humming sound: "Somewhere an electric fan droned without end" (William Styron).
2. To speak in a monotonous tone: The lecturer droned on for hours.
3. To pass or act in a monotonous way.
To utter in a monotonous low tone: "The mosquitoes droned their angry chant" (W. Somerset Maugham).
1. A continuous low humming or buzzing sound.
2. Music
a. Any of the pipes of a bagpipe that lack finger holes and produce a single tone.
b. A long sustained tone.
c. Any of various instruments that produce only a constant pitch.

[From drone (from the bee's humming sound).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.droning - an unchanging intonation
intonation, pitch contour, modulation - rise and fall of the voice pitch
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. humming, buzzing, vibrating, purring, whirring, thrumming the droning of a plane overhead
2. monotonous, boring, tedious, drawling, soporific the minister's relentlessly droning voice
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
References in classic literature ?
The droning voice droned on; a soft snoring arose on all sides and supported it like a deep and subdued accompaniment of wind instruments.
Then slowly the hissing passed into a humming, into a long, loud, droning noise.
Someone was singing, a dull, old, droning sailor's song, with a droop and a quaver at the end of every verse, and seemingly no end to it at all but the patience of the singer.