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drum major

the marching leader of a drum corps or a band.
Origin of drum major
1590-1600 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for drum-major
Historical Examples
  • At the head was big Warren Whitby, in the bearskin and gold-and-crimson coat of a drum-major.

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
  • And how will I git all in again, before the drum-major's in it?

  • We have a drum-major and all, and when we parade we look something like the picture "Sons of the Brave."

  • I have heard of a serjeant-major and a drum-major, but never heard of a bob-major.'

  • drum-major, in the British army, a warrant or non-commissioned officer whose duty it is to teach and direct the drummers.

  • He felt, during that moment, like a drum-major who had “muffed” his baton on parade.

    The Shadow Arthur Stringer
  • Francisque Sarcey, as drum-major, beat the measure with his terrible pen in his hand.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Says the drum-major to Gardiner, "You are bad of the flux too, I see."

  • How smart the adjutant was, and what a tremendous fellow the drum-major!

    The Boy Spy Joseph Kerby
  • "The one who walks like a drum-major," answered the lieutenant.

    Modeste Mignon Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for drum-major

drum major

the noncommissioned officer, usually of warrant officer's rank, who is appointed to command the corps of drums of a military band and who is in command of both the drums and the band when paraded together
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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