Meaning of DRILL in English

I. ˈdril transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English drillen to delay

1. now dialect Britain

a. : to waste (time) idly : dawdle

b. : to let (something) continue — used with out or on

2. now dialect Britain : lure , draw

easily drilled on to vote yea

they soon drilled him into the plot

II. intransitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: perhaps alteration of trill — more at trill (to trickle)

obsolete : trickle , drip

III. ˈdril noun

( -s )

archaic : a small trickling stream : rill

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Dutch drillen, from Middle Dutch; akin to Middle High German drillen to turn, round off, Old High German drāen to turn — more at throw

transitive verb


a. : to make (a rounded hole or cavity in a solid) by removing bits with a rotating drill — compare bore 1

b. : to make or excavate a hole in (a solid material) with a drill

they drilled boulders for inserting dynamite sticks

bones drilled for insertion of a pin

drilling a tooth for a filling

c. : to drive a hole in, puncture, or perforate as if with a drill : pierce, penetrate, or drive deep into the interior of

the lightning drilling the hills to the east and upriver — Frederick Way

d. : to open or sink (a well) in the earth by striking a spot repeatedly with a sharp pointed instrument or by using a rotary drill

e. : to shoot through the head or body

would haul out a gun and indiscriminatingly drill them both — Marjorie Brace

also : to penetrate or puncture like a bullet

we are drilled by about 100 cosmic rays every minute of our lives — Stuart Chase

2. archaic : to whirl or twirl like a drill

drill a stick into a pit containing tinder to kindle fire


a. : to instruct thoroughly in the rudiments and methods of any skill or branch of knowledge : discipline

b. : to impart or communicate (ideas) in this way

drill knowledge or sense into a pupil

trade secrets drilled into a man's subconscious

c. : to train or exercise (as a soldier) in military evolutions and in servicing and using weapons and other equipment

4. : to remove (a railroad car) from among others on the same track by switching

the diner to be added to number 41 had already been drilled

intransitive verb


a. : to pierce or sink a hole with a drill

reaming, drilling, and honing are also considered boring operations — H.D.Burghardt & Aaron Axelrod

intending to drill for oil

painless dental drilling

b. : to penetrate in a straight line as if driven with a drill

he sensed that the eyes of the men were drilling into the back of his neck — Fred Majdalany

the violent daylight drilling into the room — Brendan Gill

2. : to practice an exercise : engage in a drill

3. : to give forth a series of metallic percussive sounds or tones

the sharp drilling of the telephone had sounded from the hall — F.M.Ford

4. of a motor vehicle : skid , sideslip

Synonyms: see perforate , practice

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: in sense 1, probably from Dutch dril, from Middle Dutch, from drillen to drill; in other senses, from drill (IV)


a. : an instrument with an edged or pointed end used for making holes in hard substances ; specifically : a tool that cuts with its end by revolving (as in drilling metals) or by a succession of blows (as in drilling stone) — see cross bit , twist drill ; compare auger , bit I 3a

b. : a drill with the appliance or machine for operating it or the appliance or machine alone (as a drill press or a portable drill)

2. : the act or exercise of training soldiers in the execution of evolutions and the using and servicing of weapons and other equipment ; specifically : a kind or method of military exercise

infantry drill


a. : repetitive instruction and strictly supervised exercise in methods (as of business, sport, education)

we build up habits by drill , but we build up intelligent capacities by training — Gilbert Ryle

b. : a physical or mental exercise aimed at perfecting facility and skill in a particular operation especially by regular practice

the methods were largely lecture and drills for memory, with daily and monthly reviews — H.R.Douglass

c. : a formal exercise by a team of marchers consisting of strictly timed figures and evolutions as part of a ritual or as an exhibition of skill

the competition will continue until each drum corps has completed its drill

d. chiefly Britain : the approved or correct procedure for accomplishing something efficiently

two people who knew the drill perfectly and could easily mount an expedition in the given time — L.J.Van Der Post


a. : a marine snail ( Urosalpinx cinerea ) that is very destructive to oysters on the Atlantic coast of the United States by boring through their shells and feeding on the soft parts

b. : any of several other mollusks of the family Muricidae (as Thais floridana )

5. : sharp closely repeated taps or insistent moderately percussive tones

tried to shut his ears against the sharp drill of his voice — Hamilton Basso

the prolonged drill of cicadas

counted the separate, muffled drills on the wire — Kay Boyle

VI. noun

( -s )

Etymology: probably native name in West Africa

: a West African baboon ( Mandrillus leucophaeus ) closely related to the typical mandrills but smaller and lacking the bright facial coloring of the latter

VII. noun

( -s )

Etymology: perhaps from drill (III)


a. : a shallow furrow or trench into which seed is sown

b. : a row of seed sown in such a furrow

2. : a planting implement that makes holes or furrows, drops in the seed and sometimes fertilizer, and covers them with earth

tractor-drawn drills used to sow wheat

a drill adjusted to four rows at one time of forest-tree seeds

— see hoe drill , plow drill , press drill

VIII. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

1. : to sow (seeds) by dropping along a shallow furrow

he drills soybeans in the same rows with corn to be cut together for silage


a. : to sow with seed or set with seedlings inserted in drills

we've drilled a whole hill with slash pine — Kathleen L. Sutton

b. : to distribute seed or fertilizer in by means of a drill

compare the yields of a drilled acre and a broadcast acre

IX. noun

( -s )

Etymology: back-formation from drilling — more at drilling (fabric)

: a strong durable cotton fabric in twill weave made in various weights for clothing, interior decoration, and industrial uses

X. transitive verb

Etymology: drill (IV)

: to propel (as a ball) with force or accuracy

drilled a single to right field

also : to hit with force

drilled the batter with the first pitch

XI. noun

Etymology: drill (V)

: routine

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.