Drum someone out

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Drum someon out is a term with its roots in military vocabulary. We will examine the meaning of the phrase to drum someone out, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To drum someone out means to dismiss them from an organization, to force them out, to expel them. When someone is drummed out of an organization, it is unwillingly and with shame. Related terms are drums someone out, drummed someone out, drumming someone out. The phrase to drum someone out is derived from a ceremony common in the military during the 1700s-1800s involving the dishonorable dismissal of a member of the forces. The person was literally stripped of his membership during a ceremony employing the playing of a drum. The term to drum someone out has been employed in a figurative sense since the mid-1700s, to describe someone dismissed involuntarily from an organization and with ignominy.


Durham had already lost the Republican primary by the time he was drummed out of the House, but the move prevented him from qualifying for state pension benefits upon reaching retirement age. (The Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

The New Jersey governor, who blames Marco Rubio for drumming him out, endorsed Donald Trump, which may prove to be a significant boost in next week’s Super Tuesday votes in 11 states. (The New York Times)

Perry was in Ogdensburg when he received notice that St. A’s was planning to drum him out—a ritual, he knew, that involved members putting on robes and then reciting the words that would end Perry’s affiliation. (Vanity Fair Magazine)

The Quraysh had not taken kindly to Muhammad when he urged them to discard their pagan gods and worship God alone, and in 622, they drummed him out of town to live as a refugee in Medina. (The Atlantic)