nounpl. -·nums or -·na
- middle ear
- tympanic membrane
- a drumlike structure serving as a vibratory membrane for the hearing organs of certain insects
- the resonating chamber of the syrinx in birds
- a drum or drumhead
- the recessed space, usually triangular, enclosed by the slanting cornices of a pediment, often ornamented with sculpture
- a corresponding semicircular space enclosed by an arch and the top of the door or window below it
- Elec. the diaphragm of a telephone
Origin of tympanumL: see tympan
nounpl. tym·pa·na, or tym·pa·nums also tim·pa·na or tim·pa·nums
- a. Anatomy See middle ear .b. See eardrum .
- Zoology A membranous external auditory structure, as in certain insects.
- Architecture a. The ornamental recessed space or panel enclosed by the cornices of a triangular pediment.b. A similar space between an arch and the lintel of a portal or window.
- The diaphragm of a telephone.
Origin of tympanumMedieval Latin from Latin drum from Greek tumpanon
over the main door of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame
(plural tympanums or tympana)
- (architecture) A triangular space between the sides of a pediment.
- (architecture) The space within an arch, and above a lintel or a subordinate arch, spanning the opening below the arch.
- The middle ear.
- The eardrum.
- A hearing organ in frogs, toads and some insects.
- (engineering) A drum-shaped wheel with spirally curved partitions by which water is raised to the axis when the wheel revolves with the lower part of the circumference submerged; used for raising water, as for irrigation.
From Latin tympanum, from Ancient Greek Ï„ÏÎ¼Ï€Î±Î½Î¿Î½ (tumpanon), from Ï„ÏÏ€Ï„Ï‰ (tuptÅ, “I strike, I hit").