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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tambour
Historical Examples
  • Arabella had beside her a tambour frame, at which she worked, when her cough and cold sweats would permit her.

    Secresy E. (Eliza) Fenwick
  • But no, he never noticed him no more than the tambour that beat the rappel.

  • When they passed the Red Sea, Miriam and the maidens danced in chorus with singing and the beating of the timbrel (tambour).

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

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • Chain and tambour Stitch are in effect practically the same, and present the same rather granular surface.

    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
  • The girls wore plain print gowns, and muslin aprons edged with tambour work.

    The Old-Fashioned Fairy Book Constance Cary Harrison
  • At length the tambour in the great temple sounded the signal of assemblage.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • Mrs. Greene was engaged in a piece of embroidery in which she employed a peculiar kind of frame, called a tambour.

    Stories of Invention Edward E. Hale
  • She has not touched the tambour frame for nine or ten years.

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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