• WordNet 3.6
    • v drone talk in a monotonous voice
    • v drone make a monotonous low dull sound "The harmonium was droning on"
    • n drone stingless male bee in a colony of social bees (especially honeybees) whose sole function is to mate with the queen
    • n drone a pipe of the bagpipe that is tuned to produce a single continuous tone
    • n drone an aircraft without a pilot that is operated by remote control
    • n drone an unchanging intonation
    • n drone someone who takes more time than necessary; someone who lags behind
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The sole purpose of a drone bee is to mate with the queen bee
    • Drone A humming or deep murmuring sound. "The monotonous drone of the wheel."
    • Drone (Mus) A monotonous bass, as in a pastoral composition.
    • Drone One who lives on the labors of others; a lazy, idle fellow; a sluggard. "By living as a drone ,to be an unprofitable and unworthy member of so noble and learned a society."
    • Drone That which gives out a grave or monotonous tone or dull sound; as: A drum. Obs Halliwell. The part of the bagpipe containing the two lowest tubes, which always sound the key note and the fifth.
    • Drone (Zoöl) The male of bees, esp. of the honeybee. It gathers no honey. See Honeybee. "All with united force combine to drive
      The lazy drones from the laborious hive."
    • Drone To love in idleness; to do nothing. "Race of droning kings."
    • Drone To utter or make a low, dull, monotonous, humming or murmuring sound. "Where the beetle wheels his droning flight."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Between 20,000 and 60,000 bees live in a single hive. The queen bee lays nearly 1,500 eggs a day and lives for up to 2 years. The drone, whose only job is to mate with the queen bee, has a lifespan of around 24 days—he has no sting. Worker bees - all sterile females - usually work themselves to death within 40 days, collecting pollen and nectar. Worker bees will fly p to 9 miles to find pollen and nectar, flying at speeds as fast as 15 mph.
    • drone To roar; bellow.
    • drone To give forth a monotonous, unvaried tone; utter a dull humming sound; hum or buzz, as a beetle or a bagpipe.
    • drone To use a dull, monotonous tone: as, he drones in his reading.
    • drone To give forth or utter in a monotonous, dull tone: as, he drones his sentences.
    • n drone A monotonous, continued tone or sound; a humming: as, the drone of a bee.
    • n drone In music: A pipe in the bagpipe which gives out a continuous and invariable tone.
    • n drone A drone-bass.
    • n drone The male of the honey-bee. It is smaller than the queen bee, but larger than the working bee. The drones make no honey, but after living a few weeks and impregnating the queen they are killed or driven from the hive by the workers. See bee.
    • n drone Hence An idler; a sluggard; one who lives on the labor of others.
    • drone To live in idleness.
    • n drone The tone emitted by the drone of a bagpipe.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Drone drōn the male of the honey-bee: one who lives on the labour of others, like the drone-bee: a lazy, idle fellow
    • v.i Drone drōn to make a low humming sound
    • n Drone the bass-pipe of a bagpipe
    • ***


  • Charles Dickens
    “This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. (for sense 1) D. dreunen, G. dröhnen, Icel. drynja, to roar, drynr, a roaring, Sw. dröna, to bellow, drone, Dan. dröne, Goth. drunjus, sound, Gr. dirge, to cry aloud, Skr. dhran, to sound. Cf. Drone (n.)


In literature:

The regular droning of the old clock sounded distinctly in the stillness.
"The Voice of the People" by Ellen Glasgow
Knocks on the wall, a sawing noise, and a droning and a wailing are all we have heard.
"The Alleged Haunting of B---- House" by Various
The throb accelerated as distance dimmed the roar, until once more the droning thrum dominated.
"Skyrider" by B. M. Bower
Other peasants danced slowly, in a circle, to the drone of the somniferous Servian bagpipe.
"Servia, Youngest Member of the European Family" by Andrew Archibald Paton
Already from the outside one caught a droning voice.
"Romance" by Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
There were a few swift motions, a pop distinctly heard above the drone of the orchestra.
"Ben Blair" by Will Lillibridge
It droned and droned, very gradually becoming louder.
"Operation Terror" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
Now it was the Swifts' top-secret rocket base, tightly guarded by drone planes and radar.
"Tom Swift and The Visitor from Planet X" by Victor Appleton
Through it all, now soft, now loud, sounds the drone of the war-drum.
"Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People" by Constance D'Arcy Mackay
It came droning, droning up the forty-odd thousand miles from the planet.
"This World Is Taboo" by Murray Leinster

In poetry:

Tumbled are the piled glooms
And the weavers stir:
Once again the wild looms
Drone and whir.
"Break Of Day" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
This world is not for drones!
The right to live each owns;
But he to earn that right
Must work with all his might.
"I Would Not Live Alway" by John Hartley
"Is it a chapel bell that fills
The air with its low tone?"
"Thou hear'st the tinkle of the rills,
The insect's vesper drone."
"Norembega" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Far worthier men had vainly sought
To win her for herself alone;
What potent spell could Love have wrought
To draw her to a tactless drone?
"Mesalliance" by John Lawson Stoddard
The pastoral bleat, the drone of bees,
The flail-beat chiming far away,
The cattle-low, at shut of day,
The voice of God in leaf and breeze;
"To James T. Fields" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Ye pampered drones! pursuit is vain,
Give o'er the godless, cruel strife!
As well o'ertake the hurricane:
Despair and love fly there for life.
"Leawood Hall" by Ernest Jones

In news:

BOSTON (AP) — For anyone who's ever been tired of listening to someone drone on and on and on, two Japanese researchers have the answer.
The MATA Festival Brings Brooklyn's Drones And Whirs To Roulette.
Drone Czar Hit by Surgical Journalistic Strike.
CNN gets rare up-close look at Predator drones.
CNN's Brent Sadler stands at the airfield, while a drone targets him from above.
For hours, she records the subterranean drone of the ice thawing in the strangely warm winter.
South Korea developing ' kamikaze ' attack drone.
A suicide drone capable of a strike in North Korea, is under development in South Korea.
Underwater kamikaze drones rushed to the Gulf to deal with Iranian mines.
The Strait of Hormuz, where the US is sending underwater drones in case of Iranian counter-economic attack.
Deploys Kamikaze Drones to Attack Afghan Taliban Targets.
Pakistan keeps Khyber Pass closed as US strikes drone on.
Download Supreme Cuts' Remix of Physical Therapy's 'Drone On' WIth Jamie Krasner .
Houston-area lawman tells Congress the feds refused to approve emergency drone flight.
INTERVIEWS Hear ' Ley Lines,' Dubby Drones Via David Daniell and Tortoise's Douglas McCombs.

In science:

Also, in this regime one obtains the following picture for asymptotics of the probabilities at t → +∞: all the ‘activated’ (i.e., with ρn 6= 0) probabilities with the maximal value of the decay parameters rise droningly, whereas all the remaining probabilities fall to the zero ones.
Arrow of time in generalized quantum theory and its classical limit dynamics