AskDefine | Define tympanum

Dictionary Definition



1 the main cavity of the ear; between the eardrum and the inner ear [syn: middle ear, tympanic cavity]
2 the membrane in the ear that vibrates to sound [syn: eardrum, tympanic membrane, myringa]
3 a large hemispherical brass or copper percussion instrument with a drumhead that can be tuned by adjusting the tension on it [syn: kettle, kettledrum, tympani, timpani] [also: tympana (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The traingular space between the sides of a pediment pediment
  2. The middle ear
  3. The eardrum
  4. A hearing organ in frogs, toads and some insects


  • 2005, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury Publishing, paperback, page 9
    It was a black-and-white picture of a Romanesque doorway, with flanking saints and a lively Last Judgement in the tympanum [...].

Extensive Definition

Tympanum or timpanum or thympanon (Latin form) or tympanon (Greek form) may mean:
  • In biology, tympanum – Eardrum
  • In classical architecture, tympanum is an architectural element located within the arch or Pediment
  • In music, timpano – singular of timpani, a kettledrum
  • In amphibian biology, tympanum - a hearing organ/gland in frogs and toads, a flat red oval on both sides of a frog's head
  • In insect biology, tympanum or tympanal organ - a hearing organ in insects
tympanum in German: Tympanon

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Eustachian tube, allantoic membrane, amnion, amniotic sac, anvil, arachnoid membrane, auditory apparatus, auditory canal, auditory meatus, auditory nerve, auditory ossicles, auditory tube, auricle, basement membrane, basilar membrane, bongo drum, bony labyrinth, cauliflower ear, cochlea, conch, concha, conga, conjuctiva, drum, drumhead, drumskin, drumstick, ear, ear lobe, eardrum, endolymph, external ear, hammer, hymen, incus, inner ear, jazz stick, kettle, kettledrum, lobe, lobule, lug, maidenhead, malleus, mastoid process, membrana serosa, membrana tympana, membrane, membranophone, meninges, meninx, middle ear, neurilemma, organ of Corti, outer ear, oval window, pellicle, pericardium, perilymph, perineurium, pinna, pleura, round window, secondary eardrum, semicircular canals, serosa, shell, side drum, snare, snare drum, stapes, stirrup, tabor, taboret, tabret, tam-tam, tambourine, tenor drum, timbrel, timpani, tom-tom, troll-drum, tymp stick, tympan, tympanic cavity, tympanic membrane, tympanon, velum, vestibule, war drum
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