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drill (someone) (with questions)

To intensely or vigorously interrogate someone. My parents wouldn't stop drilling me with questions as I was heading out the door—I thought I'd never be able to leave! Would you stop drilling me? I don't know where he is!
See also: drill

fire drill

1. An organized evacuation of a building to prepare its occupants for the proper procedure in the event of an actual fire. Less than an hour after the school day began, the students were ushered out onto the lawn for a fire drill.
2. By extension, any event, activity, or situation that is useless, unproductive, or a complete waste of time. Usually used in business. The massive flop of the company's newest smartphone means that the huge amount of time and money they invested in it ultimately proved to be nothing but a fire drill.
3. Any unexpected, hurried, and particularly chaotic task, activity, event, or situation. Usually used in business. The boss dropped a fire drill in my lap at the last minute, saying I needed to write up a 15-page report for the board by the end of the hour.
See also: drill, fire

drill bit

The pointed part of a drill that bores a hole into the surface or material being drilled. I think we'll need a different size drill bit to make a bigger hole in this wood.
See also: bit, drill

drill down

1. To bore a hole down into something. Unfortunately, we need to drill down into the ground to try to find the burst pipe.
2. To examine or study something in detail. OK, how can I drill down and get more information on each payee on this spreadsheet?
See also: down, drill

drill in(to) (something)

1. Literally, to bore into or pierce something. Unfortunately, we need to drill into the ground to try to find the burst pipe.
2. To use repetition to learn something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "drill" and "in." My friend and I drilled each other in irregular French verbs before the test.
See also: drill

know the drill

To be familiar with what happens or what needs to be done, without having to be told. OK everyone, you know the drill! Stand beside your bunks and do not speak unless spoken to. The boss usually goes off on a tirade like this every week or so, but we all know the drill at this point—it's just a big show.
See also: drill, know

drill down (to something)

to bore downward to something or some distance. We drilled down to a layer of waterbearing sand, hoping to make a well. They had to drill down to bedrock to make a base for the piers that hold the building up.
See also: down, drill

drill in (to something)

to bore into or penetrate something. The worker drilled into the wall in three places. Please don't drill into the wall here, where it will show.
See also: drill

drill someone in something

to give someone practice in something. Now, I am going to drill you in irregular verbs. The teacher drilled the students in the use of the passive.
See also: drill

drill something into someone or something

 and drill something in
Fig. to force knowledge into someone or something Learn this stuff! Drill it into your brain. Drill in this information so you know it by heart!
See also: drill

What's the drill?

1. Inf. What is going on here? Bill: I just came in. What's the drill? Tom: We have to carry all this stuff out to the truck. "What's the drill?" asked Mary. "Why are all these people sitting around like this?"
2. Inf. What are the rules and procedures for doing this? Bill: I need to apply for new license plates. What's the drill? Is there a lot of paperwork? Clerk: Yes, there is. Bill: I have to get my computer repaired. Who do I talk to? What's the drill? Bob: You have to get a purchase order from Fred.

drill into

1. To penetrate some surface by boring: The geologist drilled into the Earth's crust.
2. To teach or inculcate something to someone by constant, intense repetition: The teacher drilled the multiplication tables into the bored students. The teacher tried to drill into our heads the capital of every country.
See also: drill

blanket drill

n. a night’s sleep; sleep. (Military.) Fred is still on blanket drill. He’s in for it.
See also: blanket, drill

Chinese fire drill

A politically incorrect term for chaos. The phrase supposedly originated in the early 1900s. A ship with British officers and a Chinese crew practiced an engine room fire drill. The bucket brigade drew water from the ship's starboard side, carried it to the engine room, and simulated throwing it on the “fire.” Another crew carried the buckets to the main deck and threw the water over the port side. But when orders became confused in translation, the bucket brigade started to draw the water from the starboard side, run over to the port side, and then throw the water overboard, bypassing the engine room completely. A 1960s stunt was for a carload of teenagers of college students to stop at a red light, whereupon at the command “Chinese fire drill,” driver and passengers got out, ran around the car, and returned to their original seats. The same idea is sometimes heard as the equally politically incorrect “Chinese square dance.”
See also: Chinese, drill, fire

short arms inspection

Military inspection for venereal diseases. Beginning with World War II, the military made visual determinations with regard to sexually transmitted diseases (primarily gonorrhea) through what was called a short arms inspection (or drill). Held early in the morning, men dressed in only their boots, helmet liners, and overcoat were summoned out of their barracks or bunks and ordered to line up. When indicated by the medical officer, each man opened his coat to bare his penis, which he then “milked” in a stripping motion to show whether there was any infectious discharge. The term distinguished between a man's governmentissued firearm and his own “short arm.” The inspection practice ended after the Vietnam conflict.
See also: arm, short
References in periodicals archive ?
We are a team that likes to move the ball and in wet conditions we did struggle to put phases together and teams drilled us off the park.
Shaun Edwards had drilled us in tackling aggressively around the legs all week and it paid off.
They (Maynard) drilled us in the first game, and they scored 32 points in the first quarter against us in the second game (in another loss)," he said.
Canyon almost beat Notre Dame (of Sherman Oaks), and Notre Dame drilled us.
The instructors drilled us again and again: "When there is an explosion, stay put