tympanum

tym·pa·num also tim·pa·num  (tĭm’pə-nəm)  n.   pl. tym·pa·na also tim·pa·na (-nə) or tym·pa·nums also tim·pa·nums

1. Anatomy, Zoology.

a. middle ear.
b. tympanic membrane.
2. Architecture.

a. the recessed, usually triangular space enclosed between the horizontal and sloping cornices of a pediment, often decorated with sculpture.
b. a similar space between an arch and the horizontal head of a door or window below.
3. Electricity. the diaphragm of a telephone.
4. a drum or similar instrument.
5. the stretched membrane forming a drumhead.

[Origin: 1610–20; < L < Gk týmpanon drum, akin to týptein to beat, strike]

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