tam·​bour | \ ˈtam-ˌbu̇r How to pronounce tambour (audio) , tam-ˈbu̇r \

Definition of tambour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : an embroidery frame especially : a set of two interlocking hoops between which cloth is stretched before stitching
b : embroidery made on a tambour frame
3 : a shallow metallic cup or drum with a thin elastic membrane supporting a writing lever used to transmit and register slight motions (such as arterial pulsations)
4 : a rolling top or front (as of a rolltop desk) of narrow strips of wood glued on canvas


tamboured; tambouring; tambours

Definition of tambour (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to embroider (cloth) with tambour

intransitive verb

: to work at a tambour frame

Other Words from tambour


tambourer noun

Examples of tambour in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Flexible tambour sheets wrap snuggly around the posts at the end of the bar that would have been too costly to relocate. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Apr. 2021 Tuttle wrapped the bar in wood tambour paneling painted Farrow & Ball Hague Blue. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Apr. 2021 The tambours can easily be swapped out, no tools required. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, 21 Feb. 2019 This collection features eight killer tracks from the 70s and 80s, with Hassan accompanying his own soulful singing on amplified tambour-a five-string lyre-over percolating Daleeb rhythms from northern Sudan. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 13 June 2018

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

First Known Use of tambour


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1774, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for tambour


Middle French, drum, from Arabic ṭanbūr, modification of Persian tabīr

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The first known use of tambour was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tambour.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tambour. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tambour


tam·​bour | \ ˈtam-ˌbu̇(ə)r, tam-ˈ How to pronounce tambour (audio) \

Medical Definition of tambour

: a shallow metallic cup or drum with a thin elastic membrane supporting a writing lever used to transmit and register slight motions (as arterial pulsations and peristaltic contractions)

More from Merriam-Webster on tambour

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tambour


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