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Drone   Listen
verb
Drone  v. i.  (past & past part. droned; pres. part. droning)  
1.
To utter or make a low, dull, monotonous, humming or murmuring sound. "Where the beetle wheels his droning flight."
2.
To love in idleness; to do nothing. "Race of droning kings."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Drone" Quotes from Famous Books



... you are one of a handful of the richest men in New York; when, for instance, you could dictate the policy of a great newspaper, yet know it only as the course that follows your grapefruit, you are a shirker and a drone, and are not playing the game." Her hand tightened on the tiller. "I think, if I were a man riding on to the polo field, I'd either try like the devil to drive the ball down between the posts, or I'd come inside, and take off my boots and colors. I wouldn't hover in lady-like futility around ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... that drone and drunkard, Carlton; tell him that his master directs that the travelling carriage shall be at the door ...
— The Purcell Papers - Volume I. (of III.) • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... dawn we rose, receiving immediately after the nine ounces of bread and pint of oatmeal gruel which composed breakfast. At 6.30, to chapel to hear one of the schoolmasters drone through the morning prayers of the English Church service, and listen to some hymn shouted out from throats never accustomed to such accents. Then the morning hours would drag slowly on in the Summer's sun ...
— Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison - Fifteen Years in Solitude • Austin Biron Bidwell

... and his rays were growing hot in the clear air. The mist had lifted from the city below, and all the streets and open places were alive with noisy buyers and sellers, whose loud talking and disputing came up in a continuous hum to the palace on the hill, like the drone of a swarm of bees. The queen ...
— Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster • F. Marion Crawford

... Pilgrims with great bundles on their backs stood staring vacantly at the walls or at the sea; monks in long grey cloaks, square hats, and long hair, passed in and out like bees about a hive, and from a distance came a musical drone, ...
— A Tramp's Sketches • Stephen Graham

... words I can answer you," said the book-hawker. "I was once a monk, a lazy drone. Our convent was rich, and we had nothing to do except to appear for so many hours every day in church, and repeat or chant words, of the sense of which we did not for a moment trouble ourselves. Copies of the blessed gospel, however, were brought among us, and certain works by Dr Martin ...
— The Woodcutter of Gutech • W.H.G. Kingston

... shape of the earth was visible at the bottom of the air, enormous, dark, and solid, rising into the tapering mass of the mountain, and pricked here and there on the slopes by the tiny lights of villas. The driving air, the drone of the trees, and the flashing light which now and again spread a broad illumination over the earth filled Mrs. Flushing with exultation. Her ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... cruel pass, and back to the house she went; and I presently followed her to get my gun, having a mind to shoot a few wild fowl, since my pupil was at her wheel. And there the two sat, keeping up that gentle drone of industry which I have come to think of as a note of womanhood, like the hum of a bee or the purr of a cat or the call of a bird. They sat erect, the delicate napes of their necks showing above their muslin kerchiefs under their high twists of hair, for even ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... times to their own Loss; so is it often too apt to push on more elevated Spirits to renew the Encounter for atchieving new Conquests, by hazarding too rashly all their former Glory. Accordingly, every Body now began to make his utmost Efforts; and look'd upon himself as a Drone, if he was not employ'd in doing something or other towards pushing forward the Siege of Barcelona it self, and raising proper Batteries for that Purpose. But, after all, it must in Justice be acknowledg'd, that notwithstanding ...
— Military Memoirs of Capt. George Carleton • Daniel Defoe

... of the value and significance of the earthly lot. She lifted her head and listened to that; it seemed a comment. Then a harsh quarrelling of dogs—Christian dogs—arose in the distance and died away, and again there was night and silence. Suddenly the long singing drone of a steamer's signal came across the city from the river, once, twice, thrice; and presently the sparrows began their twittering in the bushes near the verandah, an unexpected unanimous bird talk ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... circle to await events. I noticed that my neighbour was the fellow 'Mwanga whom I had kicked out of the store. Happily I was so dusty that he could scarcely recognize me, but I kept my face turned away from him. What with the light and the warmth, the drone of the water, the silence of the folk, and my mental and physical stress, I grew drowsy and ...
— Prester John • John Buchan

... Georgius Secundus was then alive, - Snuffy old drone from the German hive. That was the year when Lisbon-town Saw the earth open and gulp her down, And Braddock's army was done so brown, Left without a scalp to its crown. It was on the terrible Earthquake-day That the Deacon finished ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... sister of his, everybody in the farmhouse treated him as a beggar who is eating the bread of others. At every meal the very food he swallowed was made a subject of reproach against him; he was called a drone, a clown; and although his brother-in-law had taken possession of his portion of the inheritance, the soup was given to him grudgingly—just enough to save ...
— A Comedy of Marriage & Other Tales • Guy De Maupassant

... vessel as she had been, the heave of the fathomless sea below, the whirling battle-smoke about her, the air full of the crashing thunder of her guns as she quivered 'neath their discharge. I heard the humming drone of shells coming from afar, a hum that grew to a wail—a shriek—and the sickening crash as they smote her or threw up great waterspouts high as her lofty fighting-tops; I seemed to hear through it all the ring of electric bells from the various fire-controls, and voices calm and all unshaken ...
— Great Britain at War • Jeffery Farnol

... 1 The drone of the cockchafer, as he wheels by you in drowsy hum, sounds his corno di bassetto on F below the ...
— Gryll Grange • Thomas Love Peacock

... unfortunate that we must lack His eloquence to-day. The people, who Always love high-sounding words more than Wise thoughts, prefer the music of his voice To good old Wilson's drone. Why isn't ...
— The Scarlet Stigma - A Drama in Four Acts • James Edgar Smith

... the linnets' bills, And thro' the sunny flowers the bee-wings drone, And white bells of convolvulus on hills Of quiet May make silent ringing, blown Hither and thither by the wind of showers, And somewhere all the wandering birds have flown; And the brown breath of ...
— Georgian Poetry 1913-15 • Edited by E. M. (Sir Edward Howard Marsh)

... has not obtained sufficient learning thereby to serve his own turn and benefit his commonwealth, let him never look by tarrying longer to come by any more. For after this time, and forty years of age, the most part of students do commonly give over their wonted diligence, and live like drone bees on the fat of colleges, withholding better wits from the possession of their places, and yet doing little good in their own vocation and calling. I could rehearse a number (if I listed) of this sort, as well in one university ...
— Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series) • Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed

... "Very well, thanks, and how is Mrs....?" "When can I see you to-morrow?" "I'll take your offer for those bonds." ... And I could see the interiors of innumerable offices and drawing-rooms.... But of course I could hear and see nothing really except the intent drone and quick gesturing of those completely absorbed young creatures in the dim radiance, on ...
— Your United States - Impressions of a first visit • Arnold Bennett

... power in the Government to compromise and release the demand instigates to fraud as the only resource for securing a support to his family. He thus sinks into a state of apathy, and becomes a useless drone in society or a vicious member of it, if not a feeling witness of the rigor and inhumanity of his country. All experience proves that oppressive debt is the bane of enterprise, and it should be the care of a republic not to exert a grinding power ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Andrew Jackson • Andrew Jackson

... the lantern on a table, dropped wearily upon a rough bench before it and looked at the jars beside him, lifted his hand and opened a compact, but thoroughly efficient field wireless "set." His right fingers dropped to the key, and the whining drone of the wireless rose higher and higher as he tuned up. He reached for his receivers, ducked his head and adjusted them with one hand, and sent a call spitting tiny blue sparks from the key under ...
— The Quirt • B.M. Bower

... the things I hold divine: A trusting chi id's hand laid in mine, Rich brown earth and wind-tossed trees, The taste of grapes and the drone of bees, A rhythmic gallop, long June days, A rose-hedged lane and lovers' lays, The welcome smile on neighbors' faces, Cool, wide hills and open places, Breeze-blown fields of silver rye, The wild, sweet note of the plover's cry, Fresh spring showers and scent ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For, Book Two • Various

... visit to your home, and lived over those evenings graced by your presence, and lit by a cheerful fire, time and again. Do not think me insincere when I assure you they were the most delightful ones I ever passed. If you find time to write a line to one who is now a worker in the hive instead of a drone, it will be ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... greatcoats in the corner of the room, and my eyes gradually closed in sleep, catching, till they were finally sealed up, every now and then, twinklings of bare legs and well-turned ankles, mingled with the clatter of heavy brogues, and the drone of a bagpipe that had now superseded the squeak of the fife, and the rattle of ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... night of mournful drone, A part from aught to hear, to see, I dreamt not that from shires unknown In gloom, alone, By Halworthy, A man was drawing near ...
— Late Lyrics and Earlier • Thomas Hardy

... still lingers, they trace vague white rays. Soon, when the sun shall have risen, these rays will lengthen and become beautifully golden. The cocks and the cicalas make themselves heard, and now Madame Prune will begin her mystic drone. ...
— Madame Chrysantheme Complete • Pierre Loti

... of the stores were brick instead of wood with false fronts. The sidewalks were cement instead of boards. The main street was even paved. A sort of New England respectability and quietness hung over it. There was not a single saloon, and the drone of the little marble in the roulette wheel was gone from the land. Even the horses, hitched by drooping heads to racks, were scarce, and their place was taken by numerous tin automobiles of popular make and ...
— Louisiana Lou • William West Winter

... beaver, The beaver is a very instinctive animal. There are several varieties, The Dam Builder, The Bank Beaver, The Bachelor Beaver and the Drone Beaver. The beaver ranges in color from white to black. I never saw a white one, and but one black one except when I looked in the glass. The Beaver weighs from twenty to thirty pounds in the United ...
— Black Beaver - The Trapper • James Campbell Lewis

... rugged her commonness would have had a certain vigor; but to be nearly refined without being quite refined is as harrowing as singing just a little off the key. To be far off the key is to be in another key, but to smite at a note and muff it is excruciation. Better far to drone middle C than to aim at high C and miss it by ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... bad imitation of the Tropics, and I sincerely pitied the man who all these stifling hours had been toiling on the screes of Sgurr Dearg. By-and-by we sat down on a bank of heather, and idly watched the trough swimming at our feet. The clatter of the pony's hoofs grew fainter, the drone of bees had gone, even the midges seemed to have forgotten their calling. No place on earth can be so deathly still as a deer-forest early in the season before the stags have begun roaring, for there are no sheep with their homely ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... and the sweet-smelling stacks outside properly built and thatched, the scythe was laid aside for the musket, the sickle for the sword and pistol. All up the Valley the drums' rattle drowned the drone of the locusts in the stubble. The women moulded bullets now and filled powder-horns instead of making drinks for the hay-field. There was no thought anywhere save of preparation for the march. Guns were cleaned, ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... see her when she's out for play or meals, And distresses the fastidious by her gestures and her squeals, But she is not always idle or a decorative drone, And if she wastes her wages, well, she wastes ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, January 10, 1917 • Various

... inferno startled him awake. Those narrow metal walls were echoing a clangour of machinery maniacal in character and overpowering in volume. Clankings, tappings, hissings, coughings, clatterings, stridulation of a wireless spark, drone of dynamos, shrewdish scolding of Diesel motors developing two thousand horsepower, individual efforts of some two thousand valves, combined—or, declined to combine—in a cacophony like nothing under the sun but the chant of a submersible under ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... man, woman, or child in Indian communities is allowed to enter any one's lodge, and even that of the chief of the nation, and eat when they are hungry, provided misfortune or necessity has drawn them to it. Even so can the poorest and most worthless drone of the nation, if he is too lazy to hunt or to supply himself; he can walk into any lodge, and every one will share with him as long as there is anything to eat. He, however, who thus begs when he is able ...
— Houses and House-Life of the American Aborigines • Lewis H. Morgan

... some folks call me the Bee Bird or Bee Martin. Once in awhile I change my diet and do snap up a bee! but it is always a drone, not a honey-bee. Some ill-natured people say I choose the drones because they can't sting, and not because they are tramp bees and ...
— Birds Illustrated by Colour Photography, Vol II. No. 4, October, 1897 • Various

... darkness. The woods were full of gloom. A timorous star palpitated in the sky. In the sudden stillness when the bark-mill ceased its whir, the mountain torrent hard by lifted a mystic chant. The drone of the katydid vibrated in the laurel, and the shrill-voiced cricket chirped. Two of the men were in the shed examining a green hide by the light of a perforated tin lantern, that seemed to spill the rays in glinting white rills. As they flickered across the pile of bark where Rufe ...
— Down the Ravine • Charles Egbert Craddock (real name: Murfree, Mary Noailles)

... a kind cricket fluttered, Perched upon the place Vacant left, and duly uttered 'Love, Love, Love,' whene'er the bass 100 Asked the treble to atone For its somewhat sombre drone." ...
— Browning's Shorter Poems • Robert Browning

... clasp knife lay by her side, and there was a ghastly gash in her throat. The women lifted her up, and strove to staunch the bleeding, and as they fought to stay the life that was ebbing from her, the drone of the priests, and the beat of the drums, came to their ears from the men who were making merry without. Then suddenly the news of what had occurred spread among the guests, and the music died away, and was replaced by a babble of excited ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... her beauty and charm, without considering if she were a true helpmeet for his life's work. Delphine had undoubtedly made a mistake in "never thinking" of her future as a clergyman's wife; and now he was blindly expecting a miraculous transformation of the butterfly into a drone, while the butterfly was poising her wings, impatient for flight. I sat silent, and Delphine ...
— The Lady of the Basement Flat • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... somehow because it seemed natural, and when the child laughed he knew he had made a hit and kept on, singing now, not a cradle song but a man's song, something he had not himself thought of since he heard his old grandmother drone it between smokes, while she sat by the fire and dreamed of times past. It was something about Malbrook—"gone to the army"—"hope he never'll come back." And there was Tira now, within the circle of his fascination, ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... The drone of the engine having died away down the avenue, I presently found myself alone, but as I crossed the hall in the direction of the library, intending to walk out upon the southern lawns, I saw Val Beverley coming toward me from Madame de ...
— Bat Wing • Sax Rohmer

... "I go there with you. Your House of Commons always fascinates me. I hear you speak, perhaps? No? What does it matter? I will hear the others drone. I go to ...
— A People's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... among big trees at the foot of the mountain. The white frame building, oblong in shape, had four windows with green outer blinds on each of its two sides, and a door at the end nearer the road. As Webb traversed the open space, where, on Sundays, horses were hitched to the trees and saplings, a drone as of countless bees fell on his ears. To a native this needed no explanation. During five of the week-days the building was used as a schoolhouse. The sound was made by the students studying aloud, and John's niece, Dolly Drake, had sole charge ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... found many things to ask, and many questions to answer. Roderick sat on the step facing the lake, filled with a great content. The sunset gleam of the water through the darkening trees, the soft plaintive call of the phoebes from the woods, the sleepy drone of Bossy's bell from the pasture, and the scents of the garden made ...
— The End of the Rainbow • Marian Keith

... hands. But not so. He has made all that is grand in life, that is glorious in thought, depend upon our own exertions. This is as true of women as of men. Then the idler is a leech on himself—his own despoiler. An idle woman is as base a thing as an idle man. She was made for usefulness. A drone in any hive is a base bee—a nuisance, ...
— Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women • George Sumner Weaver

... He stepped out into the night. It was dark, only the stars above him dimly betraying the familiar shapes of mountains, forests, and buildings around. Up in the bunk-house some man was wailing a verse of "Ella Re," accompanied by a guitar, and the doleful drone of the hackneyed chorus was caught up by the other men "off shift." But, nauseating as it was to him, this piebald ballad of the hills, it contained one shrieking sentence: "Lost forevermore!" That was it! ...
— The Plunderer • Roy Norton

... the whirring, humming wheels he kept the other on the good book, which he read by the flickering light of a candle set on a table. So the hours at first passed quietly with nothing to disturb him but the monotonous drone and click of the machinery. But on the stroke of twelve, as he was still reading with the axe lying on the table within reach, the door opened and in came two grey cats mewing, an old one and a young one. They sat down opposite him, but it was easy to see that they did not like his wakefulness ...
— Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. • Sir James George Frazer

... the council-men and commanders gathered round the great oaken table which ran down the centre of the hall. The mellow evening light was streaming through the three western windows, while the distant babble of the soldiers upon the Castle Green sounded like the sleepy drone of insects. Monmouth paced with quick uneasy steps up and down the further end of the room until all were seated, when he turned towards them and ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... what I have is my own, if labour in getting, and care in augmenting, can make a right of property; and no drone shall feed on my honeycomb. Think on it well: what I have said is not without reflection, and what I resolve ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... with unremitting attention, and who never could see a real copulation between a drone and a queen, was satisfied that copulation was unnecessary for fecundation of the eggs: but having remarked that, at certain times, the drones exhaled a very strong odour, he thought this odour was an emanation of the aura seminalis, or the aura seminalis ...
— New observations on the natural history of bees • Francis Huber

... unweary time Cosmo lay and listened, an aerial Amphion, building castles in the air to its music, which was so monotonous that, like the drone of the bag-pipes, he could use it for accompaniment to any dream-time ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... study of the "sea-green incorruptible," too humane to swat a fly, yet capable of sending half of France to the guillotine in order that the half that was left might believe unanimously in the rights of man; all this the girl had let go by unheard, in favor, apparently, of the drone of a street piano, which came in through the open window on the prematurely warm March wind. Of all his philosophizing, there was not a pen-track to mar the virginity of the page she had opened her note-book ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... quite friendly with this amiable lady. If he had been afraid that his voice, in these delicate southern ears, must sound like the first guttral drone of Donald's Pipes at Castle Dare, he had speedily lost that fear. The manly, sun-browned face and clear-glancing eyes were full of animation; he was oppressed no longer by the solemnity of the servants; so long as he talked ...
— Macleod of Dare • William Black

... we meet every day; One is at work, the other at play, Living uncared for, dying unknown.— The busiest hive hath ever a drone. ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... brother. A charter of confirmation under the Great Seal was passed, "quondam Petro Carmichaell de Balmadie, Euphemiae Wymes ejus conjugi, et quondam Jacobo Carmichaell de Balmadie suo fratri," of the lands of Kirkdrone, Easter Drone, Balmadie, and Quhelphill, in the shires of Perth and Lanark, 13th December 1593. The next in succession seems to have been David, who died before 1646: David Carmichael of Balmadie, on the 14th November 1646, having been served heir of his father, David Carmichael of Balmadie. Two ...
— The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) • John Knox

... where a good shower of rain has fallen, the stridulous piercing notes of the cicadae are perfectly deafening; a drab-colored cricket joins the chorus with a sharp sound, which has as little modulation as the drone of a Scottish bagpipe. I could not conceive how so small a thing could raise such a sound; it seemed to make the ground over it thrill. When cicadae, crickets, and frogs unite, their music may be heard at the distance of a quarter of ...
— Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - Journeys and Researches in South Africa • David Livingstone

... horrible, as he recalled one of his pet abominations, a dirty, kilted and plaided Scotchman, who made night hideous about the Bloomsbury squares with his chanter and drone. ...
— Three Boys - or the Chiefs of the Clan Mackhai • George Manville Fenn

... anything to do, you mean, you lazy Cat! You are a good-for-nothing drone. Do you know what we do to our drones? We kill them; and that is all they are fit for. Good morning ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... take The chain in her own hands and walk behind. Indeed thy servants bore a troubled mind, O King, but how do else? So time went by. Meanwhile to make it seem she wrought some high Magic, she cried aloud: then came the long Drone of some strange and necromantic song, As though she toiled to cleanse that blood; and there Sat we, that long time, waiting. Till a fear O'ertook us, that the men might slip their chain And strike the priestess down and ...
— The Iphigenia in Tauris • Euripides

... saying what I wanted, roused her. It disturbed the Doctor too, for when I went back to replace the candle I had taken from the table, he was patting her head, in his fatherly way, and saying he was a merciless drone to let her tempt him into reading on; and he would have ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... the stage-door down a cork-screw staircase and along several short passages which branched disconcertingly to right or left as soon as Barbara fancied that she could walk ahead with impunity. From above came the mechanical runs and flourishes of a piano-organ against the drone of traffic; somewhere below there was a rapid squeak of voices. The corridors and stairs were wrapped in warm darkness, and, after one stumble, Eric felt a hand running down his sleeve and twining ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... carousers. There I sat down upon the well-remembered boulder, lost in recollections of all that had passed on those sands, while over the sea the night spread like the widening, darkening wings of an enormous spectral bird, whose brooding voice was the drone of the waves as they came nearer and nearer. Then I began to think of what lay before me, of the strangeness and ...
— Aylwin • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... twenty-three) women and children in the suburban village of Karzan. The pogrom, it seemed, had been accomplished by an energy weapon which ate great, gaping holes in the sides of buildings. A third witness took the stand, continuing the drone as the room grew hotter and muggier. Zeckler grew paler and paler, his eyes turning glassy as the testimony piled up. "But it's not true," he ...
— Letter of the Law • Alan Edward Nourse

... He knew his mother and father were listening to the plane's drone down there. They wouldn't sleep much ...
— Smugglers' Reef • John Blaine

... it—a weird chant rising into murmuring echoes along the high, dim ceiling. There were priests standing rigidly in front of the idol, their hands stretched high; and every eye was upon them. None saw the three in the doorway until a roar split the drone of worship. ...
— Astounding Stories, July, 1931 • Various

... well-ordered industry in the open air. In one place thousands of loaves of black bread were being shifted from wagon to wagon. In another they were piling a yard high with mountains of grain. The air was full of the drone of a great mill, humming away at full speed, while the Belgian fields were yielding up their golden harvests to the invaders. Apples in great clusters hung down around the necks of horses tethered in the orchards. With their keepers they were enjoying a respite from ...
— In the Claws of the German Eagle • Albert Rhys Williams

... The drone grew loud. The figure caught the bonnet close to her face and held it there, turning it about anxiously. Her eyes were eager. Her lips ...
— The Poor Little Rich Girl • Eleanor Gates

... tell you the whole story, jest like it was," she went on in her flat drone; and the words she spoke seemed to come to him from a long way off. "That there Rodney Bullard he tricked me somethin' shameful. He come to the town where I was livin' to make a speech in a political race, and we got acquainted and he made up to me. I was workin' in a hotel there—one of the dinin' ...
— The Escape of Mr. Trimm - His Plight and other Plights • Irvin S. Cobb

... the evening's mail. "Florence was a devil—Florence was divine. They raised geniuses and devils and martyrs: the most cloud-topping geniuses, the worst devils, the most saintly martyrs. But better than being a drone in a Florence pension is all this"—with a wave of his hand to the garden and the stars—"which I owe to Mary and the little speck on her lungs which brought us here after—after we had found that we had not as much money as we thought we had and an old fellow who had ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... when the rays are now full, Do the oaks form an evergreen glade; While the drone of the locust overhead, seemed to lull The cattle that ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... the Humming birds are less in size than the great fly wasp, and more slender than the drone. Their beak is a fine needle and their tongue a slender thread. Their little black eyes are like two shining points, and the feathers of their wings so delicate that they seem transparent. Their short feet, which they use very little, are so tiny one ...
— Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography, Vol. II, No 3, September 1897 • Various

... had vainly sought To win her for herself alone; What potent spell could Love have wrought To draw her to a tactless drone? ...
— Poems • John L. Stoddard

... very nere as bigge as England and Ireland, wee reade not of past twoo or three places well fortified, as Sancto Domingo in Hispaniola, and Havana in Cuba. I may therefore conclude this matter with comparinge the Spaniardes unto a drone, or an emptie vessell, which when it is smitten upon yeldeth a greate and terrible sound, and that afarr of; but come nere and looke into them, there ys nothinge in them; or rather like unto the asse which wrapte himselfe in a lyons skynne, and marched farr ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of - the English Nation. Vol. XIII. America. Part II. • Richard Hakluyt

... or so it seemed in her dream, followed them out of that hateful prison, for the bolts clanged behind her, down stairs and into the courtyard, where the sun's light almost blinded her and the fresh air struck her hot brow like ice. Then there were more voices, and people moving to and fro and the drone of a priest praying and a touch upon her hand from which she shrank. And oh! she wished that dream were done, for it was long, long. It wearied her, and grasped her heart with a ...
— Red Eve • H. Rider Haggard

... as then produce These rugged ponies, lean and spruce? Are these the steers of Accomac That do the negro's drone obey? The things of childhood all come back: The wonder tales of mother day! The jail, the inn, the ivy vines That yon old English churchside cloak, Wherein we read the stately lines Of Addison, writ in his signs, ...
— Tales of the Chesapeake • George Alfred Townsend

... let the deputed historian of the Marriage, turning over documents, here say. He went to Lady Arpington disposed for marital humaneness and jog-trot harmony, by condescension; equivalent to a submitting to the drone of an incessant psalm at the drum of the ear. He was, in fact, rather more than inclined that way. When very young, at the age of thirteen, a mood of religious fervour had spiritualized the dulness of Protestant pew and pulpit for him. Another fit of it, in the Roman Catholic ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... order was to keep them very busy. The plan of having them answer in concert was adopted with decided results. It kept them awake and the whole school with them, for California boys have strong lungs. Twenty boys speaking all at once, with eager excitement and flashing eyes, waked the drowsiest drone in the room. A gentle hint was given now and then to take a little lower key. In these lessons, Jack's deep guttural tones came in with marked effect, and it was delightful to see how he enjoyed it all. And the singing made his swarthy features glow with pleasure, though he rarely joined in ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... beginning to learn how to handle my tools, my life-work is as yet barely begun. When my long rest overtakes me, I must not be found idly sitting with folded hands. Since I was thirteen years old I have never once rested; and now I am afraid I never shall. I would rather die working than live a drone." ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... utilising the vast power of money—which I am credibly informed is a very good thing to have, though I cannot pretend to speak from experience—and casting whole bakeryfuls of bread upon the waters of charity. And here am I, the idle singer of an empty day—a mere drone in this hive of philanthropic bees! Dear, dear," said Mr. Kennaston, enviously, "what a thing it is to be practical!" And he laughed toward Margaret, in ...
— The Eagle's Shadow • James Branch Cabell

... Athair, agas do'n Mhac, agas do'n Spiorad Naomh," went the drone of the rosary within. "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... dull drone of the heavy stuff—the practised ear could gauge its fall, and I retreated a few yards into the passage. The courtyard outside caught it, and the entire chateau trembled violently at the concussion. But why, why these big guns? Another landed in the yard, followed by an unearthly tinkle of ...
— Norman Ten Hundred - A Record of the 1st (Service) Bn. Royal Guernsey Light Infantry • A. Stanley Blicq

... noiselessly; The bells a melancholy murmur ring, As tears were in the sky: More heavily the shadows fall, Like the black foldings of a pall, Where juts the rough beam from the wall; The candles flare With fresher gusts of air; The beetle's drone Turns to a dirge-like, solitary moan; Night deepens, and I sit, in cheerless ...
— Pioneers and Founders - or, Recent Workers in the Mission field • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... always scratched the enemy's skin. The painter knew more about fencing than art. He was a champion with various weapons; he could box, and was even skilled in the favorite blows of the prize fighters of the slums. "Useless as a drone, and as dangerous, too," fretted his father. And yet in the back of his troubled mind fluttered an irresistible satisfaction—an animal pride in the thought that this hare-brained terror ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... For 'tis on carrion that the vermin prey. Nor have they less dominion on our life, They trot the husband, and they pace the wife. Rouse up, you cuckolds of the northern climes, And learn from Sweden to prevent such crimes. Unman the Friar, and leave the holy drone To hum in his forsaken hive alone; He'll work no honey, when his sting is gone. Your wives and daughters soon will leave the cells, When they have lost the sound ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... like the drone-fly (Eristalis tenax), force the air through the tiny air-passages in their sides, and as these passages are closed by little plates, the plates vibrate to and fro and make sound-waves. Again, what are those curious sounds you may hear sometimes if you rest your head on a trunk in the forest? They ...
— The Fairy-Land of Science • Arabella B. Buckley

... go again, and went to the window from which he had a better view of the whole crowd. The tall lad was standing in front, flourishing his arm and saying something with a stern look. The blood stained smith stood beside him with a gloomy face. A drone of voices was audible through ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... boasts very few vestiges of the old romantic history attached to the name. The park and look-out upon the lake are beautiful, but except from the brief pleasure derived from these, the old cross from Iona that stands in the market-place, and the drone of the bagpipe which lulled me to sleep at night playing some melancholy air, there was nothing to make me feel that it was "a far cry to Lochawe," but, on the contrary, I seemed in the very midst of the prosaic, the ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... frequently "catch the birds by their tails as they are going to roost;" and it is no doubt owing to this that they are so 'cute. Talk about "catching a weasel asleep," let me see any of my metropolitan drone friends who can catch ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... households of the absent soldiery quite willing to be consoled and comforted. There were bright lights, therefore, further along the edge of the steep, beyond those of the hospital, and the squeak of fiddle and drone of 'cello, mingled with the plaintive piping of the flute, were heard at intervals through the silence of the wintry night. No tramp of sentry broke the hush about the little rift between the heights—the ...
— A Daughter of the Sioux - A Tale of the Indian frontier • Charles King

... dead eagle was applied. There lived in the place an eccentric, half-witted old woman, who, for the small sum of one halfpenny, used to fall a-dancing on the street to amuse children, and rejoiced in the euphonious though somewhat obscure appellation of "Dribble Drone." Some young fellows, on seeing the eagle divested of its skin, and looking remarkably clean and well-conditioned, suggested that it should be sent to "Dribble;" and, accordingly, in the character of a "great goose, the gift of a gentleman," ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... fifty-five. Georgius Secundus was then alive,— Snuffy old drone from the German hive. That was the year when Lisbon-town Saw the earth open and gulp her down, And Braddock's army was done so brown, Left without a scalp to its crown. It was on the terrible Earthquake-day That the ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... is known To be the same poor lazy drone: The sweetest songs Believers find Make no impression on his mind; And round the fire he'd rather nod Than labor in ...
— The Communistic Societies of the United States • Charles Nordhoff

... on the evidence of the medical expert. Then the secretary arose and began to read the indictment, loud and with distinctness, but so rapidly that his incorrect sounding of the letters l and r turned his reading into one continuous, weary drone. The judges leaned now on one side, now on the other side of their arm-chairs, then on the table, and again on the backs of the chairs, or closed their eyes, or opened them and whispered to each other. One of the gendarmes several times stifled ...
— The Awakening - The Resurrection • Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy

... mill machinery begins to reverberate through the hills of the future Joplin, arousing the vast energies and resources of We-all, Pewee and Big Wheat, let us be generous. If there was a sponge, kicker, shirk or drone, let us cover his selfishness with the mantle of charity. Leave him under the beating light of progress to wrestle with whatever remnant of a conscience he may happen to have. If he can stand by and coolly watch us work our gizzards out for the common good, and then reach out to ...
— Sally of Missouri • R. E. Young

... you have done, Jan, and may God bless the others! I want you to take that word to them from me. But he will never come back, Jan—never. Tell the men that I love them as brothers, and always shall love them, but now that I know he is dead I can no longer live as a drone among them. I will do anything. I will make your coats, do your washing and mend your moccasins. To-morrow I begin ...
— Back to God's Country and Other Stories • James Oliver Curwood

... those other personal gifts which he knew belonged to the lord. Measuring himself by his own standard, regarding that man to be most manly who could be most useful in the world, he did think himself to be infinitely superior to the Earl. He was the working bee, whereas the Earl was the drone. And he was one who used to the best of his abilities the mental faculties which had been given to him; whereas the Earl,—so he believed,—was himself hardly conscious of having had mental faculties bestowed ...
— Lady Anna • Anthony Trollope

... flap of the flame, And the throb of the clock, And a loosened slate, And the blind night's drone, Which tiredly the spectral ...
— Moments of Vision • Thomas Hardy

... witty invectives against usury. They say that it is a pity the devil should have God's part, which is the tithe. That the usurer is the greatest Sabbath breaker, because his plough goeth every Sunday. That the usurer is the drone that Virgil ...
— Usury - A Scriptural, Ethical and Economic View • Calvin Elliott

... He tossed restlessly, listening to the unaccustomed noises from without, and as the hours went by, and at last the sound of talking about the fires died off in a lazy drone, the desire to see what had become of Muata was too strong to resist. Softly he lowered himself to the earth-floor, but, soft as he moved, ...
— In Search of the Okapi - A Story of Adventure in Central Africa • Ernest Glanville

... mow The perfumed crop on grounds above, And sailors chant the "yeo, heave yeo," Then young hearts wake to life and love. When still and slow the murmuring swell Of ocean, rising from his throne, O'erleaps the beach, and matin's bell To prayer invites the college drone; Then, when the pennant floats on high, And anchor's weigh'd again to rove, And tuneful larks ascend the sky, Then young hearts wake to life and love. When, by unerring nature's power, Creation breaks the spell of night, And ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... engaging and regretful "au revoir" to the circle, and passed on to look after the comfort and pleasure of her elder visitors, and Rosa soon discovered that her awakened curiosity would be in no wise appeased by listening to the steady, pattering drone of Mr. Dorrance's oration. Oratorical he was to a degree that excited the secret amusement of the facile Southern youths about him. With them, the art of light conversation had been a study from boyhood, the topics suitable ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... crouse, The young anes ranting thro' the house— My heart has been sae fain to see them That I, for joy, hae barkit wi' them!"... By this, the sun was out o' sight, An' darker gloamin' brought the night: The bum-clock humm'd wi' lazy drone, The kye stood rowtin' i' the loan; When up they gat, an' shook their lugs, Rejoic'd they were na men but dogs; An' each took aff his several way, Resolv'd to ...
— English Dialects From the Eighth Century to the Present Day • Walter W. Skeat

... once more upon the ground, panting like a fish; and I saw rising in his face the same dusky flush that had mantled on my father's. 'I feel ill,' he gasped, 'horribly ill; the swamp turns around me; the drone of these carrion flies confounds ...
— The Dynamiter • Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny van de Grift Stevenson

... in me, From me by strong assault it is bereft. My honey lost, and I, a drone-like bee, Have no perfection of my summer left, But robb'd and ransack'd by injurious theft: In thy weak hive a wandering wasp hath crept, And suck'd the honey ...
— The Rape of Lucrece • William Shakespeare [Clark edition]

... line once more. The pistolry of the wagon whips made answer, the drone of the drivers rose as the sore-necked oxen bowed their heads again, with less strength even for ...
— The Covered Wagon • Emerson Hough

... bees, let us briefly review the life of the Honey bee. The queen bee having wintered over with many workers, lays her eggs in the spring, first in the worker, and, at a later period, in the drone-cells. Early in the summer the workers construct the large, flask-shaped queen-cells, which are placed on the edge of the comb, and in these the queen larvae are fed with rich and choice food. The old queen deserts the nest, forming a new colony. The new-born ...
— Our Common Insects - A Popular Account of the Insects of Our Fields, Forests, - Gardens and Houses • Alpheus Spring Packard

... so joyful neither, Sir, when you shall know poor Gillian's dead, my little grey Mare; thou knew'st her, mun: Zoz, 'thas made me as melancholy as the Drone of a Lancashire Bag-pipe. But let that pass; and now we talk of my Mare, Zoz, I long to ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume IV. • Aphra Behn

... "you must not be a drone in the hive; what will ye do for us? You should be a capital Sir Lucius O'Trigger, if we could get up ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... serious interest was going on upstairs. There sat Kate before the looking-glass, with flushed cheeks and quivering mouth. The low drone of many voices came to her through the floor. Then a dull silence and one voice, and Nancy Joe coming and going between the kitchen ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... he shot in air, Crept under the leaf, and hid her there; The katy-did forgot its lay, The prowling gnat fled fast away, The fell mosquito checked his drone And folded his wings till the Fay was gone, And the wily beetle dropped his head, And fell on the ground as if he were dead; They crouched them close in the darksome shade, They quaked all o'er with awe and fear, For ...
— Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader - Being Selections from the Chief American Writers • Benj. N. Martin

... murmuring as the waters rose and fell in small cascades. Birds sang lyrically from their hiding among the pitaya trees. The monotonous, eternal drone of insects filled the ...
— The Underdogs • Mariano Azuela

... Luneburg heath and those of this country!"..."Removing an old queen and substituting a young one of the current year is here an infallible mode of keeping the strongest stock from swarming and preventing drone-breeding; whilst the same means if adopted in Hanover would certainly be of no avail." I procured a hive full of dead bees from Jamaica, where they have long been naturalised, and, on carefully comparing them under the microscope with ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication - Volume I • Charles Darwin

... of a lark, with never a pause for breath, to the time of a maddening jig—a tarantella, perhaps—always on the strain and stress, always getting nearer and nearer to some shrill climax of ecstasy quite high up and away, beyond the scope of earthly music; while the persistent drone kept buzzing of the earth and the impossibility to escape. All so gay, so sad, there is no ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... where I am daily employed in gathering together a little Stock of Gain from the finest Flowers about the Town, I mean the Ladies and the Beaus. I have a numerous Swarm of Children, to whom I give the best Education I am able: But, Sir, it is my Misfortune to be married to a Drone, who lives upon what I get, without bringing any thing into the common Stock. Now, Sir, as on the one hand I take care not to behave myself towards him like a Wasp, so likewise I would not have him look upon me as an Humble-Bee; for which Reason I do all I ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... flown, That the brook's verge is green;—and bid thee hear, In yon irriguous vale, the Blackbird clear, At measur'd intervals, with mellow tone, Choiring [1]the hours of prime? and call thine ear To the gay viol dinning in the dale, With tabor loud, and bag-pipe's rustic drone To merry Shearer's dance;—or jest retail From festal board, from choral roofs the song; And speak of Masque, or Pageant, to beguile The caustic memory of a cruel wrong?— Thy lips acknowledge this a generous wile, And bid me ...
— Original sonnets on various subjects; and odes paraphrased from Horace • Anna Seward

... chime of country steeples, The scent of gorse and musk, The drone of sleepy breakers Come mingled with the dusk; A ruddy moon is rising ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 28th, 1920 • Various

... seven years till again in the Town Hall he heard a magnetic voice assuring the citizens that the town lacked just three essentials—experience, money and imagination, and that the speaker would supply them all. It was a far cry from that evening to the deep drone of the rail mill, and Filmer, detaching himself from the picture in which he formed a part, began now to perceive its dramatic vitality. Were Clark taken out the whole thing ...
— The Rapids • Alan Sullivan

... paroquets shrieking passionately, like a hundred knife-grinders at work, is no joke; especially when their melodies are mingled with the discordant cries of herons, and bitterns, and cranes, and the ceaseless buzz and hum of insects, like the bagpipe's drone, and the dismal croaking of boat-bills and frogs,—one kind of which latter, by the way, doesn't croak at all, but whistles, ay, better than many a bird! The universal hubbub is tremendous! I tell you, reader, that you don't understand it, and you can't understand ...
— Martin Rattler • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... his delivery spiritless, and his candences ridiculous. His soul was so overlaid with brawn and dignity that, though it heaved, panted, and struggled, it could never once get vent. Speaking through his apoplectic organs, I could not understand myself: it was a mumbling hubbub, the drone of a bagpipe, and the tantalizing strum strum of a hurdy-gurdy! Never was hearer more impatient to have it begin; never was hearer better pleased to have it over! Every sentence did but increase the fever of my mind. Enoch himself ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... if with the slightest of materials. Betty and Bertram Fraser laughed together; Lady Mary and Oliver ever so slowly conversed. Constance Byng and Mr. Overton discussed the latest opera, young Byng had joined Karen and the General, and a comfortable drone of politics came from Mrs. Overton and Mr. Canning-Thompson. Removed a little from these groups Lady Montgomery, very much like a turtle, sat with her head erect and her eyes half closed, evidently sleepy. It was upon Lady Montgomery that Madame ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... and the silence of high noon lay close and thick between the steep slopes of the canyons like an invisible, muffling fluid. At intervals the drone of an insect bored the air and trailed slowly to silence again. Everywhere were pungent, aromatic smells. The vast, moveless heat seemed to distil countless odors from the brush—odors of warm sap, of pine needles, and of tar-weed, and above all the medicinal odor of witch hazel. ...
— McTeague • Frank Norris

... blackberry on opposite sides of the brook have intertwined their branches across it and have completely hidden the water from sight. On these blackberries, the fruit of which was in its green state, the drone-flies and hawk-flies simply swarmed, telling the naturalist of their multitudinous successors, who at present are in the preliminary stages ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII, No. 355, October 16, 1886 • Various

... curiously enough, instead of destroying romance, this gave a certain majestic romance of its own; the romance of man's struggle to conquer the stupendous forces of Nature with his science. It was as if Vulcan's stithy had been dropped down into a profound ravine of the Alps, and the drone of machinery mingled with the music of the fleeting river—a ...
— The Princess Passes • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... king, "Is earth a bird or bee? Can this uncharted boundless realm of ours Drone thro' the sky, with leagues of struggling sea, Forests, and hills, and towns, and palace-towers?" "Ay," said the dwarf, "I have watched from Stiernborg's crown Her far dark rim uplift against the sky; But, while earth soars, men say ...
— Watchers of the Sky • Alfred Noyes

... attempts to tell her of his fair prospects —how much he loved her, and how much it would add to his bliss if he could but think she would be willing to share these blessings with him; but, choked by his undertaking, he made himself more like an inactive drone than he did like one who ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... was Enid listening with all her ears. She had not been long in discovering what had happened. Once the ghastly farcical incubus was off her shoulders she had followed Littimer upstairs. As she passed Henson's room the drone of voices struck on her ears. She stood there and listened. She would have given much for this not to have happened, but everything happened for the worst in ...
— The Crimson Blind • Fred M. White

... chalky hills covered with wild pansies, and with an all-blue sky overhead, like the lid of a chocolate-box. I liked, too, the services in the old church on Sunday nights, when the lights were lowered for the sermon, and I would put my hands over my ears and hear the voice of the preacher like the drone of a distant bee. After church the choral society used to practise in the Great Hall, and as I walked round the school buildings, snatches of their singing would beat against my face like sudden gusts of wind. When I listened at the doors of my form-room I heard ...
— The Ghost Ship • Richard Middleton

... exactly as much of the Christian doctrine as suits him. Now when I compare myself with the miller, I feel that, as far as human usefulness goes, I am far lower in the scale. I am, when all is said and done, a drone in the hive, eating the honey I did not make. I do not take my share in the necessary labour of the world, I do not regulate a little community of labourers with uprightness and kindness, as he does. But still ...
— The Altar Fire • Arthur Christopher Benson

... does a man of us cry "Shame!" Though every man would own If there is one high hope for which He labours on at fever-pitch It is not honour, wealth or fame— He wants to be a drone. ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, October 20, 1920 • Various

... the companions of my school-days. What strange irony of fate is that which sends some of us out into the restless world to grow away from our old ideals and make others, and restrains some in the monotonous rut of village life, to drone peacefully their little span! But happy he, who, knowing nothing, misses nothing. If there were any village Hampdens, or mute, inglorious Miltons among my playmates, they gave no present indications. I found the girls considerably older than I expected, the boys less interesting ...
— The Romance of an Old Fool • Roswell Field

... an instant's pause. Their alert ears caught the sounds of a distant scuffle. Then a pistol shot jarred the peaceful drone ...
— The Captain of the Kansas • Louis Tracy

... on the drone-pipes is heard, and Montfleury enters, enormously stout, in an Arcadian shepherd's dress, a hat wreathed with roses drooping over one ear, blowing ...
— Cyrano de Bergerac • Edmond Rostand



Words linked to "Drone" :   monotone, droning, sound, bagpipe, slowcoach, stick-in-the-mud, loafer, trailer, drone on, plodder, loiterer, layabout, intonation, putterer, verbalize, potterer, bee, dawdler, drone pipe, modulation, talk, slowpoke, idler, mouth, pilotless aircraft, poke, verbalise, bum, lingerer, heavier-than-air craft, pipe, laggard, bourdon, utter, radio-controlled aircraft, straggler, speak, strayer, lagger, go, pitch contour



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