"percussive Middle Eastern instrument," c.1500, diminutive of timbre (q.v.) in its older French sense of "drum." Used in Bible translations, chiefly to render Hebrew toph, cognate with Arabic duff "drum," of imitative origin.
(Heb. toph), a small drum or tambourine; a tabret (q.v.). The antiquity of this musical instrument appears from the scriptural allusions to it (Gen. 31:27; Ex. 15:20; Judg. 11:34, etc.) (See MUSIC.)