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thrum1

[thruhm] /θrʌm/
verb (used without object), thrummed, thrumming.
1.
to play on a stringed instrument, as a guitar, by plucking the strings, especially in an idle, monotonous, or unskillful manner; strum.
2.
to sound when thrummed on, as a guitar or similar stringed instrument.
3.
to drum or tap idly with the fingers.
verb (used with object), thrummed, thrumming.
4.
to play (a stringed instrument, or a melody on it) by plucking the strings, especially in an idle, monotonous, or unskillful manner; strum.
5.
to drum or tap idly on.
6.
to recite or tell in a monotonous way.
noun
7.
an act or sound of thrumming; dull, monotonous sound.
Origin of thrum1
1545-1555
1545-55; imitative
Related forms
thrummer, noun

thrum2

[thruhm] /θrʌm/
noun
1.
one of the ends of the warp threads in a loom, left unwoven and remaining attached to the loom when the web is cut off.
2.
thrums, the row or fringe of such threads.
3.
any short piece of waste thread or yarn; tuft, tassel, or fringe of threads, as at the edge of a piece of cloth.
4.
Often, thrums. Nautical. short bits of rope yarn used for making mats.
verb (used with object), thrummed, thrumming.
5.
Nautical. to insert short pieces of rope yarn through (canvas) and thus give it a rough surface, as for wrapping about a part to prevent chafing.
6.
to furnish or cover with thrums, ends of thread, or tufts.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English throm end-piece, Old English -thrum, in tungethrum ligament of the tongue, cognate with Old High German drum end-piece; akin to Old Norse thrǫmr brim, edge, Latin terminus, Greek térma end
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for thrum
Historical Examples
  • Strum or thrum should be used, and not drum, when the noisy and unskillful fingering of a musical instrument is meant.

  • She heard the thrum of the string, and then a piercing scream.

  • There was one Anchises, a twice five-fingered Trojan, that (as old stories say) used to thrum her jacket.

  • They had not heard the thrum of the motors on the roadway outside.

    The Ghost Breaker Charles Goddard
  • "thrum, thrum, thrum," the swing of oars; despite that the rhythm was muffled and subdued.

  • The man on the table who held the guitar began to thrum on the instrument.

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon
  • Some thrum a musical instrument the livelong day, and, when they wake at night, proceed at once to their musical performance.

  • Perhaps he has returned from another world to thrum a harp, or it may be only a banjo.

    Green Eyes Roy J. Snell
  • When he touches Rossetti's lute his melody is blurred by the thrum of the strings that the Italian's fingers have so lately left.

    Oscar Wilde Arthur Ransome
  • I knelt on the deck and listened to the thrum of the diesel engines.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for thrum

thrum1

/θrʌm/
verb thrums, thrumming, thrummed
1.
to strum rhythmically but without expression on (a musical instrument)
2.
(intransitive) to drum incessantly: rain thrummed on the roof
3.
to repeat (something) monotonously
noun
4.
a repetitive strumming or recitation
Derived Forms
thrummer, noun
Word Origin
C16: of imitative origin

thrum2

/θrʌm/
noun
1.
  1. any of the unwoven ends of warp thread remaining on the loom when the web has been removed
  2. such ends of thread collectively
2.
a fringe or tassel of short unwoven threads
verb thrums, thrumming, thrummed
3.
(transitive) to trim with thrums
Word Origin
C14: from Old English; related to Old High German drum remnant, Dutch dreum
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 thrum
v.

"play a stringed instrument," 1590s, from the noun (1550s), of imitative origin. Related: Thrummed; thrumming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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