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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
First recorded in 1565-75; drum1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for drummer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Eighty-five," said the clerk; and the drummer and the Negro disappeared.

  • At this time there was a drummer who lived in Wellington-street.

    Adventures and Recollections Bill o'th' Hoylus End
  • That the habits of the Judge and the drummer were divergent made it all the more annoying.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • About the only difference between us is that you're a judge and I'm a drummer.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • One of them, Williams, I remember last year as a drummer in the Corps.

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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