To drone is to make a low, continuous noise that sounds like humming or buzzing. On summer nights, you might hear cicadas drone, and on snowy winter mornings, hear your neighbor's snow blower drone.

Like animals and machines, people drone too, their voices sounding dull and tedious: "When my history teacher drones on, it's hard to stay awake." Drone is also a noun, meaning the monotonous sound itself, like the drone of a boring lecture; or a male worker bee; or a person who's as unambitious as a worker bee. Finally, there are the drones that fly by remote control, doing surveillance, gathering weather information, and occasionally firing missiles for the military.

Definitions of drone
  1. verb
    make a monotonous low dull sound
    “The harmonium was droning on”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    go, sound
    make a certain noise or sound
  2. verb
    talk in a monotonous voice
    synonyms: drone on
    see moresee less
    type of:
    mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize
    express in speech
  3. noun
    an unchanging intonation
    synonyms: droning, monotone
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cadence, intonation, modulation, pitch contour
    rise and fall of the voice pitch
  4. noun
    a pipe of the bagpipe that is tuned to produce a single continuous tone
    synonyms: bourdon, drone pipe
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a tubular wind instrument
  5. noun
    stingless male bee in a colony of social bees (especially honeybees) whose sole function is to mate with the queen
    see moresee less
    type of:
    any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species
  6. noun
    an aircraft without a pilot and operated by remote control
    synonyms: pilotless aircraft, radio-controlled aircraft
    see moresee less
    type of:
    heavier-than-air craft
    a non-buoyant aircraft that requires a source of power to hold it aloft and to propel it
  7. noun
    one who works hard at boring tasks
    synonyms: drudge, hack, hacker
    see moresee less
    plodder, slogger
    someone who works slowly and monotonously for long hours
    type of:
    unskilled person
    a person who lacks technical training
  8. noun
    an idler who lives off of the work of other people
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bum, do-nothing, idler, layabout, loafer
    person who does no work
  9. noun
    someone who takes more time than necessary; someone who lags behind
    synonyms: dawdler, laggard, lagger, poke, trailer
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    lingerer, loiterer
    someone who lingers aimlessly in or about a place
    plodder, slowcoach, slowpoke, stick-in-the-mud
    someone who moves slowly
    potterer, putterer
    a person who putters about
    straggler, strayer
    someone who strays or falls behind
    type of:
    bum, do-nothing, idler, layabout, loafer
    person who does no work
Word Family