• synonyms


  1. the membrane stretched upon a drum.
  2. the top part of a capstan.
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  1. characteristic of a drumhead court-martial; carried out in summary fashion: a drumhead execution.
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Origin of drumhead

First recorded in 1615–25; drum1 + head
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for drumhead

Historical Examples

  • The veil is stretched like a drumhead from the stem to the margin of the cap.

    The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise

    M. E. Hard

  • How can you catch trout with everything frozen as tight as a drumhead?

    Left on the Labrador

    Dillon Wallace

  • A pea on a drumhead is a restful object in comparison with Watson on that ice-hill.

  • It sounded in the silence as if it were falling on a drumhead.

  • In the drumhead of a capstan, the holes receive the capstan-bars.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

British Dictionary definitions for drumhead


  1. music the part of a drum that is actually struck with a stick or the hand
  2. the head of a capstan, pierced with holes for the capstan bars
  3. another name for eardrum
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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

drumhead in Medicine


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