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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The engine thrummed as we drove through the countryside.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Thrum \Thrum\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Thrummed; p. pr. & vb. n. Thrumming.]

  1. To furnish with thrums; to insert tufts in; to fringe.

    Are we born to thrum caps or pick straw?

  2. (Naut.) To insert short pieces of rope-yarn or spun yarn in; as, to thrum a piece of canvas, or a mat, thus making a rough or tufted surface.


Thrum \Thrum\, v. i. [CF. Icel. ?ruma to rattle, to thunder, and E. drum.]

  1. To play rudely or monotonously on a stringed instrument with the fingers; to strum.

  2. Hence, to make a monotonous drumming noise; as, to thrum on a table.


Thrum \Thrum\, v. t.

  1. To play, as a stringed instrument, in a rude or monotonous manner.

  2. Hence, to drum on; to strike in a monotonous manner; to thrum the table.


Thrum \Thrum\, n. [OE. thrum, throm; akin to OD. drom, D. dreum, G. trumm, lump, end, fragment, OHG. drum end, Icel. ?r["o]mr edge, brim, and L. terminus a limit, term. Cf. Term.]

  1. One of the ends of weaver's threads; hence, any soft, short threads or tufts resembling these.

  2. Any coarse yarn; an unraveled strand of rope.

  3. (Bot.) A threadlike part of a flower; a stamen.

  4. (Mining) A shove out of place; a small displacement or fault along a seam.

  5. (Naut.) A mat made of canvas and tufts of yarn.

    Thrum cap, a knitted cap.

    Thrum hat, a hat made of coarse woolen cloth.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"play a stringed instrument," 1590s, from the noun (1550s), of imitative origin. Related: Thrummed; thrumming.


Etymology 1 n. A thrumming sound; a hum or vibration. Also ''fig.'' vb. 1 To cause a steady rhythmic vibration, usually by plucking. 2 To make a monotonous drumming noise. Etymology 2

n. 1 the ends of the warp threads in a loom which remain unwoven attached to the loom when the web is cut. 2 (context chiefly in plural English) a fringe made of such threads. 3 any short piece of leftover thread or yarn; a tuft or tassel. 4 (context botany English) a threadlike part of a flower; a stamen. 5 (context botany English) a tuft, bundle, or fringe of any threadlike structures, as hairs on a leaf, fibers of a root. 6 (context anatomy English) a bundle of minute blood vessels, a plexus. 7 (context nautical chiefly in plural English) small pieces of rope yarn used for making mats or mops. 8 (context nautical English) a mat made of canvas and tufts of yarn. 9 (context mining English) A shove out of place; a small displacement or fault along a seam. vb. 1 to furnish with thrums; to insert tufts in; to fringe. 2 (context nautical English) to insert short pieces of rope-yarn or spun yarn in.

  1. n. a thrumming sound; "he could hear the thrum of a banjo"

  2. v. sound with a monotonous hum [syn: hum]

  3. sound the strings of (a string instrument); "strum a guitar" [syn: strum]

  4. make a rhythmic sound; "Rain drummed against the windshield"; "The drums beat all night" [syn: drum, beat]

  5. [also: thrumming, thrummed]


Thrum may refer to:

  • Thrum (band), Scottish indie rock band
  • Thomas George Thrum (20th century), American bookman
  • Thrum (botany), a flower morph
  • Thrum (material), a piece of yarn
Thrum (band)

Thrum are an indie rock band from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland, formed in 1992. They released four singles and an album before splitting up in 1995. Singer Monica Queen went on to a solo career. Since 2011, Thrum have reformed, releasing a single and album and undertaking a number of live appearances.

Usage examples of "thrum".

He was getting the oddest set of impressions, and there was a thrumming in his head, an annoying sensation, and something more.

The blurring became a smear, then where the man had stood there was only a bedraggled crow, cawing sharply as it rose upward, wings thrumming, and was swallowed by darkness.

Her hull rode high in the water, and the shadows of her cutched sails swept fleetly over the workmen squatting on quays or thrumming up the planks to the storehouses, humping barrels of Icelandic cod or sacks of English wool.

Further away a handful of kzinti discussed something with lashing tails, and the sounds of their snarling conversation occasionally rose above the thrum of machinery that pervaded the port.

He had no courage left, and sat down supperless at his little piano, letting his fingers find soft painful harmonies, so that Noel perhaps heard the faint far thrumming of that music through uneasy dreams.

And in the center of it all, an enormous steam Wurlitzer pounded and thrummed, flywheel spinning, slide valves popping, with shafts and belts connected to an incredible Rube Goldberg concoction of rocking cranks, syncopating levers, undulating cams, whirling gear trains, and nodding tappets, all acting out its cycle of interlocked motions with a complexity and ingenuity that astonished even Hunt.

And then, with sudden rush, the thring of bells, the thrum of wheels increased: the clerks, the bank clerks, the bookkeepers--the little proper and respectable people of all sorts--were riding home across the quiet little square at noon.

His heart thrums through his head, and liquorlike adrenaline juices pump power into his muscles.

I plunged through the brush, barely able to see for the watering of my eyes, aware too late of the low-pitched thrum of a hive at war.

We had now come to the road in front of the house, and Mount set his cap rakishly on his head, straightened cape and baldrick, and ran his fingers through the gorgeous thrums rippling from sleeve and thigh.

A kitchen-rag stirred on its nail by the hearth, and the skin of his bodhran thrummed faintly as the draft passed by.

The sound began from far away, a moaning, then a deep thrumming, a sound like a bodhran, like a hundred bodhrans, thunder arising from the stretched skins, filling the sky, the grasses, the river.

As they proceeded, she could hear the thrum of the fusion engines more clearly, could feel the vibrations of the hyperexcited ions through the floor.

The book which describes the rusty emotions and toilsome Lves of the Thrums weavers will always remain a book that has given me something, and the fact that mine is merely the popular view and that what I feel in it can be equally felt by the majority of fellow-creatures, this fact, such is my hardened and abandoned state, only makes me like the book more.

Adrienne mused as Moonie curled her paws into her hair and began a thrumming little purr.