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[tam-boo r, tam-boo r] /ˈtæm bʊər, tæmˈbʊər/
Music. a drum.
a drum player.
Also called tabaret. a circular frame consisting of two hoops, one fitting within the other, in which cloth is stretched for embroidering.
embroidery done on such a frame.
Furniture. a flexible shutter used as a desk top or in place of a door, composed of a number of closely set wood strips attached to a piece of cloth, the whole sliding in grooves along the sides or at the top and bottom.
Architecture. drum1 (def 10).
Court Tennis. a sloping buttress opposite the penthouse, on the hazard side of the court.
verb (used with or without object)
to embroider on a tambour.
Origin of tambour
1475-85; < Middle French: drum ≪ Arabic tanbūr lute < Medieval Greek pandoúra; cf. bandore Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tambour
Historical Examples
  • But no, he never noticed him no more than the tambour that beat the rappel.

  • Another work for the stage is the comic opera, "tambour Battant."

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • For stitching through, there is a finer thread, called "tambour."

    Art in Needlework Lewis F. Day
  • Limerick lace is of two kinds, known as the tambour and run lace.

    One Irish Summer William Eleroy Curtis
  • At length the tambour in the great temple sounded the signal of assemblage.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • They came on with beat of tambour and with war-cries, threatening to devour the strangers.

    Oregon and Eldorado Thomas Bulfinch
  • She has not touched the tambour frame for nine or ten years.

  • The game was set to music, the measured beating of a tambour with the light chiming of silver bells.

    Romance of Roman Villas

    Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney
  • Sheraton made very dainty designs for tripod stands, fire-screens and ladies' desks, with tambour doors.

    The Old Furniture Book N. Hudson Moore
  • This sideboard has two little closets with tambour doors at the bottom, and deep wine-drawers on the sides.

    The Old Furniture Book N. Hudson Moore
British Dictionary definitions for tambour


(real tennis) the sloping buttress on one side of the receiver's end of the court
a small round embroidery frame, consisting of two concentric hoops over which the fabric is stretched while being worked
embroidered work done on such a frame
a sliding door on desks, cabinets, etc, made of thin strips of wood glued side by side onto a canvas backing
(architect) a wall that is circular in plan, esp one that supports a dome or one that is surrounded by a colonnade
a drum
to embroider (fabric or a design) on a tambour
Word Origin
C15: from French, from tabourtabor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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