drone 2 [drohn] WORD ORIGIN 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 Music.
- a continuous low tone produced by the bass pipes or bass strings of musical instruments.
- the pipes (especially of the bagpipe) or strings producing this tone.
- a bagpipe equipped with such pipes.
a monotonous low tone; humming or buzzing sound. a person who speaks in a monotonous tone. SEE MORESEE LESS
Origin of drone 2 1490–1500; seeand compare Middle English droun to roar, Icelandic drynja to bellow, Gothic drunjus noiseRelated formsdron·er, noundron·ing·ly, adverb Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 British Dictionary definitions for droner drone 1 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, adjectiveWord Origin for drone Old English drān; related to Old High German treno drone, Gothic drunjus noise, Greek tenthrēnē wasp; see drone ² drone 2 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
- a sustained bass note or chord of unvarying pitch accompanying a melody
- (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, adverbWord 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 droner drone n.
Old English dran, dræn “male honeybee,” from Proto-Germanic *dran- (cf. Middle Dutch drane; Old High German treno; German Drohne, which is from Middle Low German drone), probably imitative; given a figurative sense of “idler, lazy worker” (male bees make no honey) 1520s. Meaning “pilotless aircraft” is from 1946.
Drones, as the radio-controlled craft are called, have many potentialities, civilian and military. Some day huge mother ships may guide fleets of long-distance, cargo-carrying airplanes across continents and oceans. Long-range drones armed with atomic bombs could be flown by accompanying mother ships to their targets and in for perfect hits. [“Popular Science,” November, 1946]
Meaning “deep, continuous humming sound” is early 16c., apparently imitative (cf.). The verb in the sound sense is early 16c.; it often is the characteristic sound of airplane engines. Related: Droned; droning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper droner in Science 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. droner in Culture 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.