ket·​tle·​drum | \ ˈke-təl-ˌdrəm How to pronounce kettledrum (audio) \

Definition of kettledrum

: a percussion instrument that consists of a hollow brass, copper, or fiberglass hemisphere with a calfskin or plastic head whose tension can be changed to vary the pitch

Illustration of kettledrum

Illustration of kettledrum

Examples of kettledrum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The tape-staticky gourd rattle and kettledrum boom. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The State," 14 Mar. 2018 The women hammered kettledrums and struck a gong suspended from a pagoda. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "At Shanghai Disney Resort, Mulan, Mickey and Dumplings," 4 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kettledrum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of kettledrum

1602, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of kettledrum was in 1602

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Cite this Entry

“Kettledrum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for kettledrum



English Language Learners Definition of kettledrum

: a large drum that has a rounded bottom


ket·​tle·​drum | \ ˈke-tᵊl-ˌdrəm How to pronounce kettledrum (audio) \

Kids Definition of kettledrum

: a large brass or copper drum that has a rounded bottom and can be varied in pitch

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More from Merriam-Webster on kettledrum

Nglish: Translation of kettledrum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kettledrum for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about kettledrum

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