What does drill mean?

Definitions for drill

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word drill.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. drillnoun

    a tool with a sharp point and cutting edges for making holes in hard materials (usually rotating rapidly or by repeated blows)

  2. drill, Mandrillus leucophaeusnoun

    similar to the mandrill but smaller and less brightly colored

  3. exercise, practice, drill, practice session, recitationnoun

    systematic training by multiple repetitions

    "practice makes perfect"

  4. drillverb

    (military) the training of soldiers to march (as in ceremonial parades) or to perform the manual of arms

  5. bore, drillverb

    make a hole, especially with a pointed power or hand tool

    "don't drill here, there's a gas pipe"; "drill a hole into the wall"; "drill for oil"; "carpenter bees are boring holes into the wall"

  6. drillverb

    train in the military, e.g., in the use of weapons

  7. drill, exercise, practice, practiseverb

    learn by repetition

    "We drilled French verbs every day"; "Pianists practice scales"

  8. drillverb

    teach by repetition

  9. drillverb

    undergo military training or do military exercises

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Drillnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    The way of tempering steel to make gravers, drills, and mechanical instruments, we have taught artificers. Boyle.

    Drills are used for the making such holes as punches will not conveniently serve for; as a piece of work that hath already its shape, and must have an hole or more made in it. Joseph Moxon, Mech. Exer.

    Shall the difference of hair be a mark of a different internal specifick constitution between a changeling and a drill, when they agree in shape and want of reason? John Locke.

    Springs through the pleasant meadows pour their drills,
    Which snake-like glide between the bordering hills. George Sandys.

  2. To DRILLverb

    Etymology: drillen, Dutch; þirlian, Saxon, from þurgh, through.

    The drill-plate is only a piece of flat iron, fixed upon a flat board, which iron hath an hole punched a little way into it, to set the blunt end of the shank of the drill in, when you drill a hole. Joseph Moxon, Mech. Exer.

    My body through and through he drill’d,
    And Whacum by my side lay kill’d. Hudibras, p. ii. can. 3.

    Tell, what could drill and perforate the poles,
    And to th’ attractive rays adapt their holes? Richard Blackmore, Creat.

    When a hole is drilled in a piece of metal, they hold the drill-bone in their right hand; but when they turn small work they hold the drill-bone in their left hand. Joseph Moxon, Mech. Ex.

    She has bubbled him out of his youth; she drilled him on to five and fifty, and she will drop him in his old age. Addison.

    When by such insinuations they have once got within him, and are able to drill him on from one lewdness to another, by the same arts they corrupt and squeeze him. Robert South, Sermons.

    Drill’d through the sandy stratum every way,
    The waters with the sandy stratum rise. James Thomson, Autumn.

    The foe appear’d drawn up and drill’d,
    Ready to charge them in the field. Hudibras, p. i. cant. 3.


  1. Drill

    A drill is a tool used for making round holes or driving fasteners. It is fitted with a bit, either a drill or driverchuck. Hand-operated types are dramatically decreasing in popularity and cordless battery-powered ones proliferating due to increased efficiency and ease of use. Drills are commonly used in woodworking, metalworking, construction, machine tool fabrication, construction and utility projects. Specially designed versions are made for miniature applications.


  1. drill

    A drill is a tool or machine that is used to make holes or cut through hard materials, typically by rotation. This is achieved by attaching a cutting tool or driving tool to the drill, such as drill bits or screwdriver bits. Drills are commonly used in construction, woodworking, metalworking, and many DIY projects. They can be manually operated or powered by electricity or compressed air.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Drillverb

    to pierce or bore with a drill, or a with a drill; to perforate; as, to drill a hole into a rock; to drill a piece of metal

  2. Drillverb

    to train in the military art; to exercise diligently, as soldiers, in military evolutions and exercises; hence, to instruct thoroughly in the rudiments of any art or branch of knowledge; to discipline

  3. Drillverb

    to practice an exercise or exercises; to train one's self

  4. Drillnoun

    an instrument with an edged or pointed end used for making holes in hard substances; strictly, a tool that cuts with its end, by revolving, as in drilling metals, or by a succession of blows, as in drilling stone; also, a drill press

  5. Drillnoun

    the act or exercise of training soldiers in the military art, as in the manual of arms, in the execution of evolutions, and the like; hence, diligent and strict instruction and exercise in the rudiments and methods of any business; a kind or method of military exercises; as, infantry drill; battalion drill; artillery drill

  6. Drillnoun

    any exercise, physical or mental, enforced with regularity and by constant repetition; as, a severe drill in Latin grammar

  7. Drillnoun

    a marine gastropod, of several species, which kills oysters and other bivalves by drilling holes through the shell. The most destructive kind is Urosalpinx cinerea

  8. Drillverb

    to cause to flow in drills or rills or by trickling; to drain by trickling; as, waters drilled through a sandy stratum

  9. Drillverb

    to sow, as seeds, by dribbling them along a furrow or in a row, like a trickling rill of water

  10. Drillverb

    to entice; to allure from step; to decoy; -- with on

  11. Drillverb

    to cause to slip or waste away by degrees

  12. Drillverb

    to trickle

  13. Drillverb

    to sow in drills

  14. Drillnoun

    a small trickling stream; a rill

  15. Drillnoun

    an implement for making holes for sowing seed, and sometimes so formed as to contain seeds and drop them into the hole made

  16. Drillnoun

    a light furrow or channel made to put seed into sowing

  17. Drillnoun

    a row of seed sown in a furrow

  18. Drillnoun

    a large African baboon (Cynocephalus leucophaeus)

  19. Drillnoun

    same as Drilling

  20. Etymology: [Usually in pl.]


  1. Drill

    A drill is a tool fitted with a cutting tool attachment or driving tool attachment, usually a drill bit or driver bit, used for drilling holes in various materials or fastening various materials together with the use of fasteners. The attachment is gripped by a chuck at one end of the drill and rotated while pressed against the target material. The tip, and sometimes edges, of the cutting tool does the work of cutting into the target material. This may be slicing off thin shavings, grinding off small particles, crushing and removing pieces of the workpiece, countersinking, counterboring, or other operations. Drills are commonly used in woodworking, metalworking, construction and do-it-yourself projects. Specially designed drills are also used in medicine, space missions and other applications. Drills are available with a wide variety of performance characteristics, such as power and capacity.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Drill

    dril, v.t. to bore, pierce: to make with a drill: to exercise soldiers, pupils, &c.—to sow seeds, &c., in rows.—n. an instrument for boring stone, metal, teeth, or hard substances (not wood), actuated by a kind of bow, by a brace, or otherwise: a large boring instrument used in mining: a ridge with seed or growing plants on it (turnips, potatoes, &c.): the plants in such a row: the machine for sowing the seed in drill-husbandry.—ns. Drill′-bar′row, a grain-drill driven by hand; Drill′-har′row, a harrow for working between drills; Drill′-hus′bandry, the method of sowing seed in drills or rows; Drill′ing-machine′, Drill′ing-lathe, Drill′-press, machines for boring with a drill or drills; Drill′-mas′ter, one who teaches drill, one who trains in anything, esp. in a mechanical manner; Drill′-plough, a plough for sowing grain in drills; Drill′-ser′geant, a sergeant who drills soldiers. [Prob. borrowed from Dut. drillen, to bore; dril, drille, a borer.]

  2. Drill

    dril, n. a species of baboon found in Western Africa, resembling the mandrill, but smaller. [A contr. of mandrill.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. drill

    Systematized instruction in the practice of all military exercises.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. drill

    Is a general name for the exercises through which soldiers and sailors are passed, to qualify them for their duties. There are many varieties of drill,—that of the cavalry, infantry, and artillery,—all have different drills conformable to their different organizations.

Suggested Resources

  1. drill

    Song lyrics by drill -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by drill on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. DRILL

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Drill is ranked #57101 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Drill surname appeared 357 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Drill.

    97.4% or 348 total occurrences were White.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'drill' in Nouns Frequency: #2925

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'drill' in Verbs Frequency: #1062

How to pronounce drill?

How to say drill in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of drill in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of drill in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of drill in a Sentence

  1. Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy:

    The withdrawal in Afghanistan looked like a ferret fire drill!

  2. Billie Holiday:

    I can't stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession. If you can, then it ain't music, it's close order drill, or exercise or yodeling or something, not music.

  3. Pavel Molchanov:

    Oil and gas companies do not want to drill more, they are under pressure from the financial community to pay more dividends, to do more share buybacks instead of the proverbial' drill baby drill,' which is the way they would have done things 10 years ago. Corporate strategy has fundamentally changed.

  4. Jack Dorsey:

    The cash register was invented to solve the basic pain points of running a business, like recording sales, our Register empowers sellers to drill into their business with sophisticated reporting tools to run and grow their business.

  5. President Obama:

    They were waving their three-point plans for $ 2-a-gallon gas, you remember that ? Drill, baby, drill. We were going through all that. And none of it was really going to do anything to solve the problem.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for drill

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • тренировка, бургия, пробивам, обучавам се, строева подготовка, свредел, мандрил, габардин, бормашина, обучавам, сондирам, тренирамBulgarian
  • foradar, perforarCatalan, Valencian
  • vrtačka, vrtatCzech
  • bor, dril, boreDanish
  • Drill, bohren, schleifen, drillen, Bohrer, BohrmaschineGerman
  • δράπανο, άσκηση, τρυπώ, εκπαιδεύω, γυμνάσιοGreek
  • taladro, dril, simulacro, perforar, entrenar, taladradora, repetición, repetir, averiguarSpanish
  • drillima, trell, trellpuurEstonian
  • درلPersian
  • harjoitella, harjoittaa, ''Urosalpinx'', äkseerätä, teroittaa, pamauttaa, porata, suodattaa, viekoitella, pora, drilli, istukka, vako, harjoitus, harjoite, noro, harjoituttaa, tähdentää, porautua, [[kylvää]] [[vakoon]], kylvää [[riviin]], kuluttaaFinnish
  • rabâcher, approfondir, foreuse, drill, coutil, perceuse, exercice, entraînement, percer, entraîner, chignole, forerFrench
  • drilleyManx
  • מקדחה, קדח, תרגלHebrew
  • fúrógép, gyakorlatozás, gyakorlatozik, besulykol, fúrHungarian
  • borIcelandic
  • trivellare, crivellare, scavare, esercitazione, punta, perforare, addestrare, addestrarsi, esercitare, esercitarsi, inculcare, trapano, trapanareItalian
  • ドリル, 訓練Japanese
  • ბურღიGeorgian
  • terebra, transfigereLatin
  • urbtLatvian
  • hōrete, niho, ore, tūwiri, wiriMāori
  • latihanMalay
  • trapan, driller, goljaMaltese
  • instampen, drillen, blokken, graven, borenDutch
  • bor, drill, drille, terpe, bore, dypdykkeNorwegian
  • wiertarka, wiertłoPolish
  • furar, furadeira, perfurar, treinar, treinoPortuguese
  • burghiu, sfredel, gauriRomanian
  • дрель, дрил, тик, бормашина, сверли́ть, бури́ть, бур, муштра, обучать, строевая подготовка, вдалбливать, вдолбить, копать, бурав, коловорот, сверло, пёрка, муштровать, тренировать, тренировка, тренироваться, обучаться, копнутьRussian
  • бушилица, bušilicaSerbo-Croatian
  • vrtati, vrtalnik, izvrtatiSlovene
  • turjelëAlbanian
  • borrsväng, borra, träna, drilla, undersöka, borr, borrmaskin, drill, nötaSwedish
  • kwataSwahili
  • thực hànhVietnamese

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"drill." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/drill>.

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    a white Southerner who supported Reconstruction policies after the American Civil War (usually for self-interest)
    • A. liniment
    • B. ventricle
    • C. scalawag
    • D. sapling

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