Etymology
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drum (n.)

early 15c., drom, "percussive musical instrument consisting of a hollow wooden or metallic body and a tightly stretched head of membrane," probably from Middle Dutch tromme "drum," a common Germanic word (compare German Trommel, Danish tromme, Swedish trumma) and probably imitative of the sound of one.

Not common before 1570s; the slightly older, and more common at first, word was drumslade, apparently from Dutch or Low German trommelslag "drum-beat," "though it does not appear how this name of the action came to be applied to the instrument" [OED], and the English word might be a shortening of this. Other earlier words for it were tabour (c. 1300, ultimately from Persian; see tabor) and timpan (Old English; see tympanum).

In machinery, the word was applied to various contrivances resembling a drum from 1740. In anatomy, "the tympanum of the ear," 1610s. Meaning "receptacle having the form of a drum" is by 1812. Drum-major (1590s) originally was "chief or first drummer of a military regiment;" later "one who directs the evolutions of a marching corps."

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drum (v.)

"beat or play time on, or announce by beating on, a drum," 1570s, from drum (n.). Meaning "to beat rhythmically or regularly" (with the fingers, etc.) is from 1580s. Meaning "force upon the attention by continual iteration" is by 1820.  To drum (up) business, etc., is American English 1839, from the old way of drawing a crowd or attracting recruits. To drum (someone) out "expel formally and march out by the beat of a drum" is originally military, by 1766.

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ear-drum (n.)

also eardrum, "tympanic membrane," 1640s, from ear (n.1) + drum (n.).

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drumhead (n.)

also drum-head, "membrane stretched upon a drum," 1620s, from drum (n.) + head (n.).

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kettledrum (n.)
1540s, from kettle + drum (n.). So called for its shape. Related: Kettledrummer.
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drumstick (n.)

"one of the sticks used in beating a drum," 1580s, from drum (n.) + stick (n.); applied to the lower joint of cooked fowl by 1764.

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drummer (n.)

"one who plays the drum," 1570s, agent noun from drum (v.). Slightly earlier in the same sense was drumslade (1520s). Middle English had tabourer, taborner (fem. tabornester, tabourester) "drummer."

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majorette (n.)

"female baton-twirler," 1939, short for drum-majorette (1938), fem. of drum-major (1590s; see drum (n.)).

The perfect majorette is a pert, shapely, smiling extrovert, who loves big, noisy crowds and knows how to make those crowds love her. [Life magazine, Oct. 10, 1938]

(The article notes that the activity "has been going on for about six years now").

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tympanum (n.)
"drum of the ear," 1610s, from Medieval Latin tympanum, introduced in this sense by Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio (1523-1562), from Latin tympanum "a drum, timbrel, tambourine," from Greek tympanon "a kettledrum," from root of typtein "to beat, strike" (see type (n.)). Compare Old English timpan "drum, timbrel, tambourine," from Latin tympanum. The modern meaning "a drum" is attested in English from 1670s.
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drumlin (n.)

"long, narrow ridge or hill of sand, gravel, and boulders," in areas of Ice Age glaciation and formed somehow by the movement of the ice, 1833, a diminutive of earlier drum (1725) "ridge or long, narrow hill," often separating two parallel valleys, from Gaelic and Irish druim "back, ridge." Somewhat similar to, though different in origin (probably) from, an esker, but their exact nature is not quite understood.

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