Meaning of DRILL in English

I. drill 1 /drɪl/ BrE AmE noun

1 . [countable] a tool or machine used for making holes in something:

an electric drill

a whine like a dentist’s drill

⇨ ↑ pneumatic drill

2 . [countable] a method of teaching students, sports players etc something by making them repeat the same lesson, exercise etc many times:

a pronunciation drill

3 . fire/emergency drill an occasion when people practise what they should do in a dangerous situation such as a fire

4 . [uncountable] military training in which soldiers practise marching, using weapons etc:

rifle drill

5 . the drill British English old-fashioned the usual way that something is done:

‘You know the drill?’ ‘Not really. Tell me again what to do.’

6 . [uncountable] a type of strong cotton cloth

7 . [countable]

a) a machine for planting seeds in rows

b) a row of seeds planted by a machine

• • •


■ to make a hole in something

▪ make a hole in something to cause a hole to appear in something:

Make a hole in the bottom of the can using a hammer and nail.

▪ pierce to make a small hole in or through something, using a pointed object:

The dog's teeth had pierced her skin.


Shelley wanted to have her ears pierced (=for earrings) .

▪ prick to make a very small hole in the surface of something, using a pointed object:

Prick the potatoes before baking them.


My finger was bleeding where the needle had pricked it.

▪ punch to make a hole through paper or flat material using a metal tool or other sharp object:

I bought one of those things for punching holes in paper.


You have to get your ticket punched before you get on the train.

▪ puncture to make a small hole in something, especially something where skin or a wall surrounds a softer or hollow inside part:

The bullet had punctured his lung.

▪ perforate formal to make a hole or holes in something:

Fragments of the bullet had perforated his intestines.

▪ drill to make a hole using a special tool, often one which turns round and round very quickly:

The dentist started drilling a hole in my tooth.


They won a contract to drill for oil in the area.

▪ bore to make a deep round hole through a rock, into the ground etc:

They had to bore through solid rock.


The men were boring a hole for the tunnel.

II. drill 2 BrE AmE verb

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Dutch ; Origin: drillen ]

1 . [intransitive and transitive] to make a hole in something using a drill:

Drill a hole in each corner.

drill into/through

He accidentally drilled into a water pipe.

drill for oil/water/gas etc

BP has been licensed to drill for oil in the area.

2 . [transitive] to teach students, sports players etc by making them repeat the same lesson, exercise etc many times

drill somebody in something

She was drilling the class in the forms of the past tense.

drill somebody to do something

I acted instinctively because I had been trained and drilled to do just that.

The team were well-drilled.

3 . [transitive] to train soldiers to march or perform other military actions:

The sergeant was drilling the new recruits.

4 . [transitive] to plant seeds in rows using a machine

drill down phrasal verb

technical to get a more detailed level of information relating to something, when using a computer

drill something into somebody phrasal verb

to keep telling someone something until they know it very well:

Mother had drilled it into me not to talk to strangers.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.