- 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
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.