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  computing See disk a rotating cylindrical device on which data may be stored for later retrieval: now mostly superseded by disks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]

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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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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Slang Dictionary


adj, n. Ancient techspeak term referring to slow, cylindrical magnetic media that were once state-of-the-art storage devices. Under BSD Unix the disk partition used for swapping is still called `/dev/drum'; this has led to considerable humor and not a few straight-faced but utterly bogus `explanations' getting foisted on newbies. See also "The Story of Mel" in Appendix A.
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