Also found in: Thesaurus.


A tattoo, as of a drum, the hooves of a galloping horse, or machine-gun fire.

[French, of imitative origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a drumming sound
[from French, of imitative origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌræt əˈplæn)

a drumbeat.
[1840–50; < French; imitative]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rataplan - the sound made by beating a drumrataplan - the sound made by beating a drum  
sound - the sudden occurrence of an audible event; "the sound awakened them"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
"Yes, sir; at that instant there was such a rataplan of musketry that one might have imagined the infernal regions had opened.
Kinder to pass over her singing in Verdi's Rataplan and Offenbach's Barcarolle, because her onstage charisma, plus her willingness to be winched into the flies aboard a giant pair of lips, remains undimmed.
As I am apprehending this sight I suddenly hear--through my closed windows and over the snare-drum rataplan of rain crashing against my car--the most terrifying screeching I have ever heard.
Seeing volunteer soldiers heaving their bodies through boot camp exercises as Marie's "23 fathers" in the Manitoba Opera Chorus's crisply delivered "Rataplan, kataplan, Rataplan" only added to the fun.
CURATORS at an English Heritage site in Yorkshire were recently surprised by the delivery of a pair of mummified horse's hooves to add to their racing collection, including the Doncaster Cup, which Rataplan won in 1855.
(82) New Zealand Pelt Export Co Ltd v Trade Indemnity New Zealand Ltd [2002] VSC 570 (Unreported, Warren J, 18 December 2002) (NZ); Rataplan Pry Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (2004) 56 ATR 407 ('Rataplan') (US, Texas); O'Driscoll [2006] WASCA 25 (Unreported, Malcolm C J, McLure JA and Murray AJA, 22 February 2006) (Singapore); Hume Computers Pry Ltd v Exact International BV [2006] FCA 1440 (Unreported, Jacobson J, 25 October 2006) (Netherlands); Garsec v His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei [2007] NSWSC 882 (Unreported, McDougall J, 15 August 2007) (Brunei).
The rataplan of galloping horses, the jingle of accoutrements and the clash of swords ushered in the cavalry.