- a set of kettledrums, especially as used in an orchestra or band.
Origin of timpani
< Italian, plural of timpano kettledrum < Latin tympanum < Greek týmpanon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tympani
I stay in my attic room and play upon my tympani, my beloved children.
I am a poet, and play upon the tympani; the conductor and the orchestra are boors.
In the “battery” the instruments of prime importance are the tympani.How to Appreciate Music
But I begin to feel the call of New York on the tympani of my blood globules.The Letters of Ambrose Bierce
A few taps of the tympani, with which the composition ends, give the ring of finality.Franz Liszt
- a variant spelling of timpani
- (sometimes functioning as singular) a set of kettledrums, two or more in numberOften (informal) shortened to: timps
from Italian, pl of timpano kettledrum, from Latin: tympanum
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
Word Origin and History for tympani
1876, plural of timpano (1740), from Italian timpani "drums," from Latin tympanum "drum" (see tympanum).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Italian for kettledrums; the term timpani is often preferred by composers and performers.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.