drone

1
[ drohn ]
/ droʊn /

noun

the male of the honeybee and other bees, stingless and making no honey.
  1. an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight: the GPS of a U.S. spy drone.
  2. (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely: a radio-controlled drone.
a person who lives on the labor of others; parasitic loafer.
a drudge.

Origin of drone

1
before 1000; 1945–50 for def 2a; Middle English drone, drane, Old English dran, dron; akin to Old High German treno, German Drohne
Related formsdron·ish, adjective

Definition for drone (2 of 2)

drone

2
[ drohn ]
/ droʊn /

verb (used without object), droned, dron·ing.

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, dron·ing.

to say in a dull, monotonous tone.

noun

Origin of drone

2
1490–1500; see drone1 and compare Middle English droun to roar, Icelandic drynja to bellow, Gothic drunjus noise
Related formsdron·er, noundron·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drone

British Dictionary definitions for drone (1 of 2)

drone

1
/ (drəʊn) /

noun

a male bee in a colony of social bees, whose sole function is to mate with the queen
British a person who lives off the work of others
a pilotless radio-controlled aircraft
Derived Formsdronish, adjective

Word Origin for drone

Old English drān; related to Old High German treno drone, Gothic drunjus noise, Greek tenthrēnē wasp; see drone ²

British Dictionary definitions for drone (2 of 2)

drone

2
/ (drəʊn) /

verb

(intr) 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

noun

a monotonous low dull sound
music
  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 Formsdroning, adjectivedroningly, adverb

Word Origin for drone

C16: related to drone 1 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

Word Origin and History for drone

drone


n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for drone

drone

[ drōn ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for drone

drone


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.