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drone1

[drohn] /droʊn/
noun
1.
the male of the honeybee and other bees, stingless and making no honey.
2.
  1. an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight:
    the GPS of a U.S. spy drone.
  2. (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely:
    a radio-controlled drone.
3.
a person who lives on the labor of others; parasitic loafer.
4.
a drudge.
Origin
1000
before 1000; 1945-50 for def 2a; Middle English drone, drane, Old English dran, dron; akin to Old High German treno, German Drohne
Related forms
dronish, adjective

drone2

[drohn] /droʊn/
verb (used without object), droned, droning.
1.
to make a dull, continued, low, monotonous sound; hum; buzz.
2.
to speak in a monotonous tone.
3.
to proceed in a dull, monotonous manner (usually followed by on):
The meeting droned on for hours.
verb (used with object), droned, droning.
4.
to say in a dull, monotonous tone.
noun
5.
Music.
  1. a continuous low tone produced by the bass pipes or bass strings of musical instruments.
  2. the pipes (especially of the bagpipe) or strings producing this tone.
  3. a bagpipe equipped with such pipes.
6.
a monotonous low tone; humming or buzzing sound.
7.
a person who speaks in a monotonous tone.
Origin
1490-1500; see drone1 and compare Middle English droun to roar, Icelandic drynja to bellow, Gothic drunjus noise
Related forms
droner, noun
droningly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for drone
  • The one-bedroom unit can get hot, so he turns on a fan that will drone noisily throughout our talk.
  • Lifeless and lumpish as the bagpipe's drowsy drone.
  • The drone of the hives just outside is barely audible.
  • You don't seem the sycophantic 80-hour weeker corporate drone type to me, .
  • He would drone (or meander) on and on in a steady (and steadily slow) monotone that threadened to put even disciples to sleep.
  • They should get unmanned drones to patrol the areas where the animals live.
  • Professor Askenov looked up from his notes and paused in mid-drone.
  • The lethal drone strikes have actually been highly successful.
  • The drone of vacuum cleaners in a hallway, telling guests that they've slept past checkout time.
  • She looked back at the television, where Peter was continuing to drone on, but she didn't hear him.
British Dictionary definitions for drone

drone1

/drəʊn/
noun
1.
a male bee in a colony of social bees, whose sole function is to mate with the queen
2.
(Brit) a person who lives off the work of others
3.
a pilotless radio-controlled aircraft
Derived Forms
dronish, adjective
Word Origin
Old English drān; related to Old High German treno drone, Gothic drunjus noise, Greek tenthrēnē wasp; see drone²

drone2

/drəʊn/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to make a monotonous low dull sound; buzz or hum
2.
when intr, often foll by on. to utter (words) in a monotonous tone, esp to talk without stopping
noun
3.
a monotonous low dull sound
4.
(music)
  1. a sustained bass note or chord of unvarying pitch accompanying a melody
  2. (as modifier): a drone bass
5.
(music) one of the single-reed pipes in a set of bagpipes, used for accompanying the melody played on the chanter
6.
a person who speaks in a low monotonous tone
Derived Forms
droning, adjective
droningly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: related to drone1 and Middle Dutch drōnen, German dröhnen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for drone
n.

Old English dran, dræn "male honeybee," from Proto-Germanic *dran- (cf. Middle Dutch drane; Old High German treno; German Drohne, which is from Middle Low German drone), probably imitative; given a figurative sense of "idler, lazy worker" (male bees make no honey) 1520s. Meaning "pilotless aircraft" is from 1946.

Drones, as the radio-controlled craft are called, have many potentialities, civilian and military. Some day huge mother ships may guide fleets of long-distance, cargo-carrying airplanes across continents and oceans. Long-range drones armed with atomic bombs could be flown by accompanying mother ships to their targets and in for perfect hits. ["Popular Science," November, 1946]
Meaning "deep, continuous humming sound" is early 16c., apparently imitative (cf. threnody). The verb in the sound sense is early 16c.; it often is the characteristic sound of airplane engines. Related: Droned; droning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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drone in Science
drone
  (drōn)   
A male bee, especially a honeybee whose only function is to fertilize the queen. Drones have no stingers, do no work, and do not produce honey.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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drone in Culture

drone definition


In military usage, a pilotless aircraft used for reconnaissance and, more recently, for launching aerial attacks.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for drone

drone

noun
  1. A boring person; drip, wimp (1930s+ Students)
  2. A small unmanned aircraft used as a target for gunnery practice (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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