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[tuhm-tuhm, tam-tam] /ˈtʌmˌtʌm, ˈtæmˌtæm/
a gong with indefinite pitch.
Origin of tam-tam
1775-85; variant of tom-tom Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tam-tam
Historical Examples
  • Again the page was played, the tam-tam's thin edge set shivering with mournful resonance.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • He re-read the score, set it going on the organ, then picked up the tam-tam.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • With a scorching whiff of sulphur and violets, a thin, spiral scream, the music tapered into the sepulchral clang of a tam-tam.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • Come fleetly, come fleetly, my hookabadar, For the sound of the tam-tam is heard from afar.

  • Priests attend upon the goddess, and female dancers display their talent before her, accompanied by the loud music of the tam-tam.

British Dictionary definitions for tam-tam


another name for gong (sense 1)
Word Origin
from Hindi: see tom-tom
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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