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thrum1

[thruhm]
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verb (used without object), thrummed, thrum·ming.
  1. to play on a stringed instrument, as a guitar, by plucking the strings, especially in an idle, monotonous, or unskillful manner; strum.
  2. to sound when thrummed on, as a guitar or similar stringed instrument.
  3. to drum or tap idly with the fingers.
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verb (used with object), thrummed, thrum·ming.
  1. to play (a stringed instrument, or a melody on it) by plucking the strings, especially in an idle, monotonous, or unskillful manner; strum.
  2. to drum or tap idly on.
  3. to recite or tell in a monotonous way.
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noun
  1. an act or sound of thrumming; dull, monotonous sound.
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Origin of thrum1

First recorded in 1545–55; imitative
Related formsthrum·mer, noun

thrum2

[thruhm]
noun
  1. one of the ends of the warp threads in a loom, left unwoven and remaining attached to the loom when the web is cut off.
  2. thrums, the row or fringe of such threads.
  3. any short piece of waste thread or yarn; tuft, tassel, or fringe of threads, as at the edge of a piece of cloth.
  4. Often thrums. Nautical. short bits of rope yarn used for making mats.
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verb (used with object), thrummed, thrum·ming.
  1. Nautical. to insert short pieces of rope yarn through (canvas) and thus give it a rough surface, as for wrapping about a part to prevent chafing.
  2. to furnish or cover with thrums, ends of thread, or tufts.
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Origin of thrum2

before 1000; Middle English throm end-piece, Old English -thrum, in tungethrum ligament of the tongue, cognate with Old High German drum end-piece; akin to Old Norse thrǫmr brim, edge, Latin terminus, Greek térma end
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for thrum

Historical Examples

  • She heard the thrum of the string, and then a piercing scream.

    The Saracen: The Holy War

    Robert Shea

  • They had not heard the thrum of the motors on the roadway outside.

    The Ghost Breaker

    Charles Goddard

  • The man on the table who held the guitar began to thrum on the instrument.

  • Perhaps he has returned from another world to thrum a harp, or it may be only a banjo.

    Green Eyes

    Roy J. Snell

  • I knelt on the deck and listened to the thrum of the diesel engines.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow


British Dictionary definitions for thrum

thrum1

verb thrums, thrumming or thrummed
  1. to strum rhythmically but without expression on (a musical instrument)
  2. (intr) to drum incessantlyrain thrummed on the roof
  3. to repeat (something) monotonously
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noun
  1. a repetitive strumming or recitation
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Derived Formsthrummer, noun

Word Origin

C16: of imitative origin

thrum2

noun
    1. any of the unwoven ends of warp thread remaining on the loom when the web has been removed
    2. such ends of thread collectively
  1. a fringe or tassel of short unwoven threads
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verb thrums, thrumming or thrummed
  1. (tr) to trim with thrums
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Word Origin

C14: from Old English; related to Old High German drum remnant, Dutch dreum
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 thrum

v.

"play a stringed instrument," 1590s, from the noun (1550s), of imitative origin. Related: Thrummed; thrumming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper