Word of the Day : February 9, 2015


noun tan-TAIR-uh


: the blare of a trumpet or horn

Did You Know?

Tantara is a shortening of the Latin taratantara, an onomatopoetic word that in ancient times evoked the terrible sound of the war-trumpet. When tantara entered English in the 16th century, the sound it evoked was a merry one. "Tantara, tantara, the trumpets sound, / Which makes our hearte with joy abound," wrote Humphrey Gifford in 1580. Today, tantara is sometimes used as a synonym of fanfare, a word for a short, lively sound of trumpets that may also be onomatopoetic in origin.


A tantara announced the arrival of the Queen, and everyone snapped to attention.

"… after restoring the tomb to its former condition, we returned to the palace. But hardly had we sat down ere we heard the … tantara of trumpets and clash of cymbals, and the rattling of war men's lances…." - Sir Richard Burton, The Arabian Nights, 1884-1886

Name That Synonym

What synonym of tantara begins with "t" and can also mean "a rapid gallop"? The answer is …


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!