[ tom-tom ]
/ ˈtɒmˌtɒm /


a drum of American Indian or Asian origin, commonly played with the hands.
a dully repetitious drumbeat or similar sound.
Also tam-tam.

Origin of tom-tom

First recorded in 1685–95, tom-tom is from the Hindi word ṭamṭam Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tom-tom

British Dictionary definitions for tom-tom



a drum associated either with the American Indians or with Eastern cultures, usually beaten with the hands as a signalling instrument
a standard cylindrical drum, normally with one drumhead
a monotonous drumming or beating sound

verb -toms, -tomming or -tommed

(tr) informal to pass (information, esp gossip) around a community very quickly

Word Origin for tom-tom

C17: from Hindi tamtam, of imitative origin
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