or tym·pa·ni

[ tim-puh-nee ]
/ ˈtɪm pə ni /

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

a set of kettledrums, especially as used in an orchestra or band.

Origin of timpani

< Italian, plural of timpano kettledrum < Latin tympanum < Greek týmpanon

Related forms

tim·pa·nist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for timpani



/ (ˈtɪmpənɪ) /

pl n

(sometimes functioning as singular) a set of kettledrums, two or more in numberOften (informal) shortened to: timps

Derived Forms

timpanist or tympanist, noun

Word Origin for timpani

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

Culture definitions for timpani


[ (tim-puh-nee) ]

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.