tym·​pa·​num | \ ˈtim-pə-nəm How to pronounce tympanum (audio) \
plural tympana\ ˈtim-​pə-​nə How to pronounce tympana (audio) \ also tympanums

Definition of tympanum

b : a thin tense membrane covering an organ of hearing of an insect — see insect illustration
c : a membranous resonator in a sound-producing organ
2a : the recessed usually triangular face of a pediment within the frame made by the upper and lower cornices
b : the space within an arch and above a lintel or a subordinate arch

Illustration of tympanum

Illustration of tympanum

1 tympanum 2a

First Known Use of tympanum

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for tympanum

Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin, eardrum, from Latin, drum, architectural panel, from Greek tympanon drum, kettledrum; perhaps akin to Greek typtein to beat

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Time Traveler for tympanum

Time Traveler

The first known use of tympanum was in 1619

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Cite this Entry

“Tympanum.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tympana. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for tympanum


tym·​pa·​num | \ ˈtim-pə-nəm How to pronounce tympanum (audio) \
plural tympana\ -​nə How to pronounce tympana (audio) \ also tympanums

Medical Definition of tympanum

More from Merriam-Webster on tympanum

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tympanum

Comments on tympanum

What made you want to look up tympanum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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