Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[drohn] /droʊn/
verb (used without object), droned, droning.
to make a dull, continued, low, monotonous sound; hum; buzz.
to speak in a monotonous tone.
to proceed in a dull, monotonous manner (usually followed by on):
The meeting droned on for hours.
verb (used with object), droned, droning.
to say in a dull, monotonous tone.
  1. a continuous low tone produced by the bass pipes or bass strings of musical instruments.
  2. the pipes (especially of the bagpipe) or strings producing this tone.
  3. a bagpipe equipped with such pipes.
a monotonous low tone; humming or buzzing sound.
a person who speaks in a monotonous tone.
Origin of drone2
1490-1500; see drone1 and compare Middle English droun to roar, Icelandic drynja to bellow, Gothic drunjus noise
Related forms
droner, noun
droningly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for droned
Historical Examples
  • "The Sweet By and By" droned on, over and over, in the dark stuffiness of the crowded room.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • All day long the town had droned and dosed under a drowsy heat.

  • “Your mind will be concerned only with the welfare of Caleb Barter,” droned on the voice.

    The Mind Master Arthur J. Burks
  • He droned on in the night, with rising and falling inflections.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • "True religion is the greatest boon," he droned sententiously.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • "She knows about it all, she knows, she knows," droned Elfreda.

  • "There is a sphere, a foot in diameter, ten feet from me," droned Arcot.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell
  • He say,” droned the interpreter, “how much cattle you want to buy?

    Panther Eye Roy J. Snell
  • He droned on for some minutes, and then his voice died away.

    High Noon Anonymous
  • Now it droned on its new course, forty-five degrees from the original.

    Space Platform Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for droned


a male bee in a colony of social bees, whose sole function is to mate with the queen
(Brit) a person who lives off the work of others
a pilotless radio-controlled aircraft
Derived Forms
dronish, adjective
Word Origin
Old English drān; related to Old High German treno drone, Gothic drunjus noise, Greek tenthrēnē wasp; see drone²


(intransitive) to make a monotonous low dull sound; buzz or hum
when intr, often foll by on. to utter (words) in a monotonous tone, esp to talk without stopping
a monotonous low dull sound
  1. a sustained bass note or chord of unvarying pitch accompanying a melody
  2. (as modifier): a drone bass
(music) one of the single-reed pipes in a set of bagpipes, used for accompanying the melody played on the chanter
a person who speaks in a low monotonous tone
Derived Forms
droning, adjective
droningly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: related to drone1 and Middle Dutch drōnen, German dröhnen
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for droned



Old English dran, dræn "male honeybee," from Proto-Germanic *dran- (cf. Middle Dutch drane; Old High German treno; German Drohne, which is from Middle Low German drone), probably imitative; given a figurative sense of "idler, lazy worker" (male bees make no honey) 1520s. Meaning "pilotless aircraft" is from 1946.

Drones, as the radio-controlled craft are called, have many potentialities, civilian and military. Some day huge mother ships may guide fleets of long-distance, cargo-carrying airplanes across continents and oceans. Long-range drones armed with atomic bombs could be flown by accompanying mother ships to their targets and in for perfect hits. ["Popular Science," November, 1946]
Meaning "deep, continuous humming sound" is early 16c., apparently imitative (cf. threnody). The verb in the sound sense is early 16c.; it often is the characteristic sound of airplane engines. Related: Droned; droning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
droned in Science
A male bee, especially a honeybee whose only function is to fertilize the queen. Drones have no stingers, do no work, and do not produce honey.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
droned in Culture

drone definition

In military usage, a pilotless aircraft used for reconnaissance and, more recently, for launching aerial attacks.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for droned



  1. A boring person; drip, wimp (1930s+ Students)
  2. A small unmanned aircraft used as a target for gunnery practice (1940s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for droned

Difficulty index for drone

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for droned

Scrabble Words With Friends