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1. Printing A padding, as of paper or cloth, placed over the platen of a press to regulate the pressure on the sheet being printed.
2. Architecture A tympanum.
3. A tightly stretched sheet or membrane, as on the head of a drum.

[Middle English timpan, drum, from Old English timpana, from Latin tympanum, from Greek tumpanon.]


1. a membrane stretched over a frame or resonating cylinder, bowl, etc
2. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) printing packing interposed on a hand-operated text between the platen and the paper to be printed in order to provide an even impression
3. (Architecture) architect another name for tympanum3
[Old English timpana, from Latin; see tympanum]


(ˈtɪm pən)

1. a padlike device interposed between the platen of a printing press and the sheet to be printed, in order to soften and equalize the pressure.
[before 900; Middle English: drum, Old English < Latin tympanum tympanum]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tympan - a musical percussion instrumenttympan - a musical percussion instrument; usually consists of a hollow cylinder with a membrane stretched across each end
bass drum, gran casa - a large drum with two heads; makes a sound of indefinite but very low pitch
bongo, bongo drum - a small drum; played with the hands
drumhead, head - a membrane that is stretched taut over a drum
percussion instrument, percussive instrument - a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by one object striking another
side drum, snare drum, snare - a small drum with two heads and a snare stretched across the lower head
tabor, tabour - a small drum with one head of soft calfskin
tambour - a drum
tambourine - a shallow drum with a single drumhead and with metallic disks in the sides
tenor drum, tom-tom - any of various drums with small heads
timbrel - small hand drum similar to a tambourine; formerly carried by itinerant jugglers
References in periodicals archive ?
Traditionally, a fine astrolabe came with a set of interchangeable tympans for use at different latitudes.
Aujourd'hui, meme certaines musiques et chansons vous violentent les tympans.
A la fin de la piece, apres une serie d'aventures, de desastres et d'accidents, les freres Durant fuient le monde civilise, s'enfoncent dans la foret pour se percer les tympans, se crever les yeux et se couper la langue.