from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Printing A padding, as of paper or cloth, placed over the platen of a press to regulate the pressure on the sheet being printed.
- n. Architecture A tympanum.
- n. A tightly stretched sheet or membrane, as on the head of a drum.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a piece of cloth padding placed under the platen of a letterpress to distribute the pressure on the sheet being printed
- n. the stretched membrane of a drum; a percussion instrument consisting of a hollow cylinder with such a membrane at each end
- n. a tympanum
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A drum.
- n. A panel; a tympanum.
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A timbrel or drum.
- n. 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.
- n. A stretched membrane, or a tense sheet of some thin material, as that of a drumhead.
- n. 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.
- n. In anatomy, a tympanum.
- n. In architecture, a tympanum.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a musical percussion instrument; usually consists of a hollow cylinder with a membrane stretched across each end
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST'S NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA- Pa rum pum pum pum isn't just the beat produced by the Little Drummer Boy's tympan, It's also the pulsing noise in our Paranoid Self Loathing GOP Lobbyist's head that he insists are brain-permeating, voter intimidation gamma rays from ACORN's headquarters!
Speaking of the tympan [in earlier versions, a "harp all songless"] that he has found:
The "thing" presented here is an unadorned image of Hone's printing press, an iron Stanhope with the tympan raised to the right.
A sheet of paper is now laid upon the plate, the tympan is lowered, and the scraper adjusted with due pressure; a revolution of the wheel completes the printing, the well-known scraping action of the lithographic press being used in the operation.
This form of the apparatus is more suitable for inclosure in a wall box with or without a mouthpiece, but it does not require the employment of any kind of diaphragm or tympan.
Attached to the upper end of the inner frame by hinges was a thin and narrow frame, called the "frisket," of the same length and width as the inner tympan frame.
When the sheets of paper had been placed upon the tympan frame, the frisket was folded down upon it, and the two were then turned down over the form of type.
This enabled the printing of larger forms and the use of a thinner and harder "packing," or "tympan," between the platen and the sheet of paper to be printed, resulting in a sharper and clearer impression.
After the impression had been taken, the platen was screwed up, the bed "run out," the tympan frame and frisket lifted, and the printed sheet taken off.
While this was being done, the other man was placing the sheet of paper on the "tympan."