noun, plural tym·pa·nums, tym·pa·na [tim-puh-nuh] /ˈtɪm pə nə/.
- the recessed, usually triangular space enclosed between the horizontal and sloping cornices of a pediment, often decorated with sculpture.
- a similar space between an arch and the horizontal head of a door or window below.
Origin of tympanum
Examples from the Web for tympanum
"The tympanum of the door will have no charm for us," the Abbé went on.The Cathedral|Joris-Karl Huysmans
Glιᵹbeam, ᵹlιpbeam (glig or glee-beam), tympanum; a timbrel or taber.Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Volume I (of 3)|Thomas Percy
According to Darmstetter the word ‘timbre’ is own brother to ‘tambour,’ both being derived from a low Latin form of tympanum.Rustic Sounds|Francis Darwin
The tympanum over the door of the Norman chapel at Prestbury represents Christ seated in glory.Cheshire|Charles E. Kelsey
But this is not their whole apparatus of song—since, like the Tettigoni, they have also a tympanum or drum.An Introduction to Entomology: Vol. II (of 4)|William Kirby
British Dictionary definitions for tympanum
noun plural -nums or -na (-nə)
- the cavity of the middle ear
- another name for tympanic membrane
- the recessed space bounded by the cornices of a pediment, esp one that is triangular in shape and ornamented
- the recessed space bounded by an arch and the lintel of a doorway or window below it
Word Origin for tympanum
Word Origin and History for tympanum
"drum of the ear," 1610s, from Medieval Latin tympanum, introduced in this sense by Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio (1523-1562), from Latin tympanum "drum," from Greek tympanon "a drum, panel of a door," from root of typtein "to beat, strike" (see type (n.)). Cf. Old English timpan "drum, timbrel, tambourine," from Latin tympanum. The modern meaning "a drum" is attested in English from 1670s.