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[druhm-er] /ˈdrʌm ər/
a person who plays a drum.
a commercial traveler or traveling sales representative.
march to a different drummer, to be motivated by a different set of values than the average person.
Origin of drummer
1565-75; drum1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for drummer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The drummer dare not look behind him, and does not know what is being done.

  • The Witch did not appear till the drummer had knocked three times.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 Charles Herbert Sylvester
  • Behind the standard bearers came a drummer and the player on the shrill pipe or pito—chirimiya.

    In Indian Mexico (1908) Frederick Starr
  • And their theme was the German drummer's refugee-widow who never went to kerk.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Capt. Smith, whose heart was tender as that of any woman,—The tenderest are the bravest—patted the drummer boy of Co.

    Drum Taps in Dixie Delavan S. Miller
British Dictionary definitions for drummer


a person who plays a drum or set of drums
(mainly US) a salesman, esp a travelling salesman
(Austral & NZ, slang) the slowest shearer in a team
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 drummer

1570s, agent noun from drum (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for drummer



A traveling salesperson

[1827+; fr the practice of going about with a drum to gain attention for recruiting and other purposes; for example, the sale of fish was announced by drumming in the London streets]

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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Idioms and Phrases with drummer
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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