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.


Nearby words

  1. timoshenko,
  2. timothy,
  3. timothy grass,
  4. timothy hay bacillus,
  5. timour,
  6. timpanogos,
  7. timpanum,
  8. timrod,
  9. timrod, henry,
  10. timucu

Origin of timpani

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

Related formstim·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 Formstimpanist 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

Word Origin and History for timpani



1876, plural of timpano (1740), from Italian timpani "drums," from Latin tympanum "drum" (see tympanum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.