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Definitions

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

  • n.pl. A set of kettledrums.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The set of precision kettledrums in an orchestra.

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

  • n. a large hemispherical brass or copper percussion instrument with a drumhead that can be tuned by adjusting the tension on it

Etymologies

Italian, pl. of timpano, kettledrum, from Latin tympanum, drum; see tympanum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from Italian timpani, plural of timpano ("drum"), from Ancient Greek τύμπανον (tumpanon), from τύπτω (tuptō, "I strike, I hit"). (Wiktionary)

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