drum up


1 [druhm]
noun, plural drums, (especially collectively for 11) drum.
a musical percussion instrument consisting of a hollow, usually cylindrical, body covered at one or both ends with a tightly stretched membrane, or head, which is struck with the hand, a stick, or a pair of sticks, and typically produces a booming, tapping, or hollow sound.
any hollow tree or similar object or device used in this way.
the sound produced by such an instrument, object, or device.
any rumbling or deep booming sound.
a natural organ by which an animal produces a loud or bass sound.
any cylindrical object with flat ends.
a cylindrical part of a machine.
a cylindrical box or receptacle, especially a large, metal one for storing or transporting liquids.
Also called tambour. Architecture.
any of several cylindrical or nearly cylindrical stones laid one above the other to form a column or pier.
a cylindrical or faceted construction supporting a dome.
any of several marine and freshwater fishes of the family Sciaenidae that produce a drumming sound.
Also called drum memory. Computers. magnetic drum.
Archaic. an assembly of fashionable people at a private house in the evening.
a person who plays the drum.
Australian Informal. reliable, confidential, or profitable information: to give someone the drum.
verb (used without object), drummed, drumming.
to beat or play a drum.
to beat on anything rhythmically, especially to tap one's fingers rhythmically on a hard surface.
to make a sound like that of a drum; resound.
(of ruffed grouse and other birds) to produce a sound resembling drumming.
verb (used with object), drummed, drumming.
to beat (a drum) rhythmically; perform by beating a drum: to drum a rhythm for dancers.
to call or summon by, or as if by, beating a drum.
to drive or force by persistent repetition: to drum an idea into someone.
to fill a drum with; store in a drum: to drum contaminated water and dispose of it.
Verb phrases
drum out,
(formerly) to expel or dismiss from a military service in disgrace to the beat of a drum.
to dismiss in disgrace: He was drummed out of the university for his gambling activities.
drum up,
to call or summon by, or as if by, beating a drum.
to obtain or create (customers, trade, interest, etc.) through vigorous effort: They were unable to drum up enthusiasm for the new policies.
to concoct; devise: to drum up new methods of dealing with urban crime.
beat the drum, to promote, publicize, or advertise: The boss is out beating the drum for a new product.

1535–45; back formation from drumslade drum, drummer, alteration of Dutch or Low German trommelslag drumbeat, equivalent to trommel drum + slag beat (akin to slagen to beat; cognate with slay)

underdrumming, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
drum1 (drʌm)
1.  music a percussion instrument sounded by striking a membrane stretched across the opening of a hollow cylinder or hemisphere
2.  informal beat the drum for to attempt to arouse interest in
3.  the sound produced by a drum or any similar sound
4.  an object that resembles a drum in shape, such as a large spool or a cylindrical container
5.  architect
 a.  one of a number of cylindrical blocks of stone used to construct the shaft of a column
 b.  the wall or structure supporting a dome or cupola
6.  short for eardrum
7.  Also called: drumfish any of various North American marine and freshwater sciaenid fishes, such as Equetus pulcher (striped drum), that utter a drumming sound
8.  a type of hollow rotor for steam turbines or axial compressors
9.  computing See disk a rotating cylindrical device on which data may be stored for later retrieval: now mostly superseded by disks
10.  archaic a drummer
11.  informal (Austral) the drum the necessary information (esp in the phrase give (someone) the drum)
vb (sometimes foll by up) , drums, drumming, drummed
12.  to play (music) on or as if on a drum
13.  to beat or tap (the fingers) rhythmically or regularly
14.  (intr) (of birds) to produce a rhythmic sound, as by beating the bill against a tree, branch, etc
15.  to summon or call by drumming
16.  (tr) to instil by constant repetition: to drum an idea into someone's head
[C16: probably from Middle Dutch tromme, of imitative origin]

drum2 (drʌm)
(Scot), (Irish) a narrow ridge or hill
[C18: from Scottish Gaelic druim]

drum up
(tr, adverb) to evoke or obtain (support, business, etc) by solicitation or canvassing

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., from M.Du. tromme "drum," probably of imitative origin. Not common before 1570s. To drum up (business, etc.) is Amer.Eng. 1839, from the old way of drawing a crowd.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

drum (drŭm)
See eardrum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

drum up

  1. Bring about by persistent effort, as in I'm trying to drum up more customers, or We have to drum up support for this amendment. This expression alludes to making repeated drumbeats. [Mid-1800s]

  2. Devise, invent, obtain, as in He hoped to drum up an alibi. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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