1a percussion instrument sounded by being struck with sticks or the hands, typically cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or bowl-shaped, with a taut membrane over one or both ends:a shuffling dance to the beat of a drum
(drums) a drum kit:how to play guitar, drums, or keyboards
(drums) the percussion section of a band or orchestra.
[in singular] a sound made by or resembling that of a drum:the drum of their feet
historical a military drummer.
2a cylindrical container or receptacle:a drum of powdered bleach
a rotating cylindrical part in a washing machine, in which the washing is placed.
Architecture the circular vertical wall supporting a dome.
Architecture a stone block forming part of a column.
Australian/NZ a tramp’s bundle of belongings.
3British informal a house or flat.
4an evening or afternoon tea party of a kind that was popular in the late 18th and early 19th century:a drum at Lady Beresford’s
5Australian/NZ informal a piece of reliable inside information:he had got the drum that the police wouldn’t lock us up
[early 20th century: perhaps by association with the musical instrument used to give a signal]
1 [no object] play on a drum:he channelled his energies into drumming with local groups
make a continuous rhythmic noise:she felt the blood drumming in her ears (as noun drumming)the drumming of hooves
[with object] beat (the fingers, feet, etc.) repeatedly on a surface, especially as a sign of impatience or annoyance:waiting around an empty table, drumming their fingers
(of a woodpecker) strike the bill rapidly on a dead trunk or branch, especially as a sound indicating a territorial claim:two greater spotted woodpeckers were drumming (as noun drumming)the mechanical drumming of a woodpecker
(of a snipe) vibrate the outer tail feathers in a diving display flight, making a throbbing sound:snipe should now be drumming all round the reserve
2 [with object]Australian/NZ informal, dated give (someone) reliable information or a warning:I’m drumming you, if they come I’m going