Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Printing A padding, as of paper or cloth, placed over the platen of a press to regulate the pressure on the sheet being printed.
  • noun Architecture A tympanum.
  • noun A tightly stretched sheet or membrane, as on the head of a drum.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A timbrel or drum.
  • noun An ancient Irish musical instrument, the exact nature of which is disputed. Probably it had strings, and was played with a bow, thus resembling the crowd.
  • noun A stretched membrane, or a tense sheet of some thin material, as that of a drumhead.
  • noun In a printing-press having a platen, a framed appliance interposed between the platen and the sheet to be printed, for softening and equalizing the pressure, by means of blankets between its two parts; the outer and the inner tympan.
  • noun In anatomy, a tympanum.
  • noun In architecture, a tympanum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A drum.
  • noun (Arch.) A panel; a tympanum.
  • noun (Print.) A frame covered with parchment or cloth, on which the blank sheets are put, in order to be laid on the form to be impressed.
  • noun (Print.) a sheet of paper of the same size as that to be printed, pasted on the tympan, and serving as a guide in laying the sheets evenly for printing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a piece of cloth padding placed under the platen of a letterpress to distribute the pressure on the sheet being printed
  • noun music the stretched membrane of a drum; a percussion instrument consisting of a hollow cylinder with such a membrane at each end
  • noun architecture a tympanum

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

  • noun a musical percussion instrument; usually consists of a hollow cylinder with a membrane stretched across each end

Etymologies

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

[Middle English timpan, drum, from Old English timpana, from Latin tympanum, from Greek tumpanon.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin tympanum.

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • In printing, a skin-covered wooden frame that served as a guide for positioning a sheet of paper on the press.

    February 2, 2007