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

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Other Words from tambour


tambourer noun

Examples of tambour in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tambours can easily be swapped out, no tools required. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "These Shape-Shifting Chairs Will Save You So Much Space," 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, "Drummer and composer Bill Harris on a Chicago iconoclast who can make an album feel like an epic film," 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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Time Traveler for tambour

Time Traveler

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 Jan. 2021.

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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

Comments on tambour

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