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drone (n.)

Middle English drane, drone, "male honeybee," from Old English dran, dræn, from Proto-Germanic *dran- (source also of Middle Dutch drane; Old High German treno; German Drohne, which is from Middle Low German drone), probably imitative (compare Lithuanian tranni, Greek thronax "a drone"). Given a figurative sense of "idler, lazy worker" (male bees make no honey) 1520s. Meaning "pilotless aircraft directed by remote control" is from 1946.

Drones, as the radio-controlled craft are called, have many potentialities, civilian and military. Some day huge mother ships may guide fleets of long-distance, cargo-carrying airplanes across continents and oceans. Long-range drones armed with atomic bombs could be flown by accompanying mother ships to their targets and in for perfect hits. ["Popular Science," November, 1946]

Meaning "a deep, continuous humming sound" is from c. 1500, apparently an independent imitative formation (compare threnody). Meaning "bass pipe of a bagpipe" is from 1590s.

drone (v.)

mid-14c., drounen, "to roar, bellow;" c. 1500, "to give forth a monotonous and unvaried tone, hum, or buzz," imitative (see drone (n.)). In modern times it often is the characteristic sound of airplane engines. Meaning "speak in a dull, monotonous tone" is from 1610s. Related: Droned; droning

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Definitions of drone from WordNet
1
drone (n.)
stingless male bee in a colony of social bees (especially honeybees) whose sole function is to mate with the queen;
drone (n.)
an unchanging intonation;
Synonyms: monotone / droning
drone (n.)
someone who takes more time than necessary; someone who lags behind;
Synonyms: dawdler / laggard / lagger / trailer / poke
drone (n.)
an aircraft without a pilot that is operated by remote control;
Synonyms: pilotless aircraft / radio-controlled aircraft
drone (n.)
a pipe of the bagpipe that is tuned to produce a single continuous tone;
Synonyms: drone pipe / bourdon
2
drone (v.)
make a monotonous low dull sound;
drone (v.)
talk in a monotonous voice;
Synonyms: drone on
From wordnet.princeton.edu