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n. pl. drums
a. A percussion instrument consisting of a hollow cylinder or hemisphere with a membrane stretched tightly over one or both ends, played by beating with the hands or sticks.
b. A sound produced by this instrument.
2. Something resembling a drum in shape or structure, especially a barrellike metal container or a metal cylinder wound with cable, wire, or heavy rope.
3. Architecture
a. A circular or polygonal wall supporting a dome or cupola. Also called tambour.
b. Any of the cylindrical stone blocks that are stacked to form the shaft of a column.
4. Any of various marine and freshwater fishes of the family Sciaenidae that make a drumming sound by vibrating certain muscles attached to the swim bladder.
5. Anatomy The eardrum.
v. drummed, drum·ming, drums
v. intr.
1. To play a drum or drums.
2. To thump or tap rhythmically or continually: nervously drummed on the table.
3. To produce a booming, reverberating sound by beating the wings, as certain birds do.
v. tr.
1. To perform (a piece or tune) on or as if on a drum.
2. To summon by or as if by beating a drum.
3. To make known to or force upon (a person) by constant repetition: drummed the answers into my head.
4. To expel or dismiss in disgrace. Often used with out: was drummed out of the army.
Phrasal Verb:
drum up
1. To bring about by continuous, persistent effort: drum up new business.
2. To devise; invent: drummed up an alibi.

[Middle English drom, probably alteration of Middle Dutch tromme, ultimately of imitative origin; see trumpet.]


pl n
(Music, other) music a drum kit or set of drums
References in classic literature ?
In the center of the amphitheater was one of those strange earthen drums which the anthropoids build for the queer rites the sounds of which men have heard in the fastnesses of the jungle, but which none has ever witnessed.
Moreover, just as Pierre was speaking a sharp rattle of drums was suddenly heard from both sides.
Drums were beaten in all the villages of Massachusetts to enlist soldiers for the service.
The Book of Army Management says: On the field of battle, the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums. Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence the institution of banners and flags.
By the afternoon of that day--my pocket diary shows me that it was Tuesday, August 18th--at least six or seven drums were throbbing from various points.
At their base were arranged two parallel rows of cumbersome drums, standing at least fifteen feet in height, and formed from the hollow trunks of large trees.
'I don't think they'll fight any more to-day,' the King said to Hatta: 'go and order the drums to begin.' And Hatta went bounding away like a grasshopper.
They would have carried on this duenna dispute further had they not heard the notes of the fife and drums once more, from which they concluded that the Distressed Duenna was making her entrance.
As he talked to himself, he thought he heard sounds of pipes and drums coming from a distance: pi-pi-pi, pi-pi-pi.
Thus the heroe is always introduced with a flourish of drums and trumpets, in order to rouse a martial spirit in the audience, and to accommodate their ears to bombast and fustian, which Mr Locke's blind man would not have grossly erred in likening to the sound of a trumpet.
The Vengeance stooped, and the jar of a drum was heard as she moved it at her feet behind the counter.
Beside this doorway stood a huge drum. The fox-captain went to this drum and knocked his knees against it-- first one knee and then the other--so that the drum said: "Boom-boom."