beat the drum, to promote, publicize, or advertise: The boss is out beating the drum for a new product.

Origin of drum

1535–45; back formation from drumslade drum, drummer, alteration of Dutch or Low German trommelslag drumbeat, equivalent to trommel drum + slag beat (akin to slagen to beat; cognate with slay)
Related formsun·der·drum·ming, noun



noun Scot., Irish English.

a long, narrow hill or ridge.

Origin of drum

1715–25; < Irish and Scots Gaelic druim Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for drum

strum, roar, thunder, throb, rap, pulsate, reverberate, boom, tattoo, thrum

Examples from the Web for drum

Contemporary Examples of drum

Historical Examples of drum

British Dictionary definitions for drum




music a percussion instrument sounded by striking a membrane stretched across the opening of a hollow cylinder or hemisphere
beat the drum for informal to attempt to arouse interest in
the sound produced by a drum or any similar sound
an object that resembles a drum in shape, such as a large spool or a cylindrical container
  1. one of a number of cylindrical blocks of stone used to construct the shaft of a column
  2. the wall or structure supporting a dome or cupola
short for eardrum
Also called: drumfish any of various North American marine and freshwater sciaenid fishes, such as Equetus pulcher (striped drum), that utter a drumming sound
a type of hollow rotor for steam turbines or axial compressors
computing a rotating cylindrical device on which data may be stored for later retrieval: now mostly superseded by disksSee disk (def. 2)
archaic a drummer
the drum Australian informal the necessary information (esp in the phrase give (someone) the drum)

verb drums, drumming or drummed

to play (music) on or as if on a drum
to beat or tap (the fingers) rhythmically or regularly
(intr) (of birds) to produce a rhythmic sound, as by beating the bill against a tree, branch, etc
(tr sometimes foll by up) to summon or call by drumming
(tr) to instil by constant repetitionto drum an idea into someone's head
See also drum out, drum up

Word Origin for drum

C16: probably from Middle Dutch tromme, of imitative origin




Scot and Irish a narrow ridge or hill

Word Origin for drum

C18: from Scottish Gaelic druim
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 drum

1540s, probably from Middle Dutch tromme "drum," common Germanic (cf. German Trommel, Danish tromme, Swedish trumma), probably of imitative origin. Not common before 1570s. Slightly older, and more common at first, was drumslade, apparently from Dutch or Low German trommelslag. Machinery sense attested from 1740, from similarity of shape.


1570s, from drum (n.). To drum (up) business, etc., is American English 1839, from the old way of drawing a crowd.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

drum in Medicine




The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.