Definition of tympanum
plural tympanaplay \-nə\ also tympanums
2a : the recessed usually triangular face of a pediment within the frame made by the upper and lower cornicesb : the space within an arch and above a lintel or a subordinate arch
Origin of tympanum
Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin, eardrum, from Latin, drum, architectural panel, from Greek tympanon drum, kettledrum; perhaps akin to Greek typtein to beat
First Known Use: 1619
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up tympanum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).