from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Archaic Inflated manner or style; bombast.
  • n. See tympanites.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sound made by beating a drum.
  • n. Tympanites (distention of the abdomen).
  • n. Inflation; conceit; bombast; turgidness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A flatulent distention of the belly; tympanites.
  • n. Hence, inflation; conceit; bombast; turgidness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To swell or puff up; inflate; dilate; distend.
  • n. A swelling out or inflation; an inflated or puffed-up mass or condition; hence, turgidity; bombast; conceit.
  • n. In pathology, an inflated or distended condition of the abdomen or peritoneum; tympanites.


Medieval Latin tympanias, tympanites, from Greek tumpaniās, from tumpanon, drum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined based on Ancient Greek τύμπανον (tumpanon). (Wiktionary)


  • Tapping the knuckles of my left hand lightly with my right is like batting at a balloon, and I can hear the mellow tympany of the gas that is inside.

    Between Expectations

  • They had permission to turn over the late Sir Caspar's drum, though the place is more like an entire tympany section.

    Final Resting Place of The Pen

  • Well, are McCain and Palin are holding this girl now -- who apparently got impregnated at age 16, which is something that doesn't sit well with many of us, including those of who thump Bibles as if they were tympany -- in front of themselves to hold off the inevitable:

    McCain Campaign: Palin's 17-Year-Old Daughter Is Pregnant

  • Only wise, only rich, only fortunate, valorous, and fair, puffed up with this tympany of self-conceit; [1918] as that proud Pharisee, they are not (as they suppose) like other men, of a purer and more precious metal: [1919] Soli rei gerendi sunt efficaces, which that wise Periander held of such: [1920] meditantur omne qui prius negotium, &c.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Some are like woodwinds, some are like strings, some are like brass instruments, some are like tympany, etc. etc.

    friends symphony, resolution

  • S — — was with child when she was last in England, and pretended a tympany, and saw everybody; then disappeared for three weeks, her tympany was gone, and she looked like a ghost, etc. No wonder she married when she was so ill at containing.

    The Journal to Stella

  • This practice of swathing was resorted to on account of the tympany [48] which followed these spasmodic ravings; but the bystanders frequently relieved patients in a less artificial manner, _by thumping and trampling upon the parts affected_.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864

  • For the rest, the blows were never administered except during the torments of convulsion; and at that time the tympany

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864

  • Griselda among herbs, may be given with admirable effect in pottage, as a domestic aperient, "loosening the belly, helping the jaundice, and dispersing the tympany."

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • In most cases of indigestion characterized by fermentation and collections of gas in the intestine there is gastric tympany as well.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals

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  • The braggart cavorts like a chimpanzee,
    He chatters and flaunts his tympany.
    Compare then the sage,
    Baton raised on stage,
    Though silent conducting a symphony.

    February 7, 2014