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

  • n. An ancient percussion instrument similar to a tambourine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ancient percussion instrument rather like a simple tambourine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of drum, tabor, or tabret, in use from the highest antiquity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sing to the sound of the timbrel.
  • n. Same as tambourine. See also tabor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small hand drum similar to a tambourine; formerly carried by itinerant jugglers


Diminutive of Middle English timbre, drum, from Old French; see timbre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • It was beat with the fingers, and corresponds to our tambourine. all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances -- We shall understand this by attending to the modern customs of the East, where the dance -- a slow, grave, and solemn gesture, generally accompanied with singing and the sound of the timbrel, is still led by the principal female of the company, the rest imitating her movements and repeating the words of the song as they drop from her lips.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Their sackbut was something like a bagpipe; the timbrel was a tambourine; and the dulcimer, a horizontal harp with wire strings, and struck with a stick like the psaltery. "

    Music and Some Highly Musical People

  • The toph, an instrument of the drum kind, rendered "timbrel" (Ex. 15: 20;

    Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • And Miriam the prophet took her timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her just as she had planned, and Miriam raised her voice in song

    A Journey of Spirit

  • And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

    Probably Just One Of Those Funny Coincidences

  • They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.

    Probably Just One Of Those Funny Coincidences

  • And the timbrel so clear, and the lute with dulcet string;

    The Mysteries of Udolpho

  • For the king was so besotted with his women and his wine, that the employments of his most busy and serious hours consisted at the utmost in celebrating religious feasts in his palace, carrying a timbrel, and taking part in the show; while the greatest affairs of state were managed by

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

  • He said, moreover, that they had called his soldiers into the town, coveted who should quarter the most of them; they also entertained him with the timbrel, song, and dance.

    The Holy War

  • Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise him with lute and pipe.

    Creative Risk


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  • "In Exodus, for example, Miriam the prophetess takes 'a timbrel tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.'"
    —Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), 31

    March 12, 2009

  • "... or while timbrel and harp soothe his senses or amid the cool silver tranquillity of the evening ..."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 14

    January 27, 2007