noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
a set of kettledrums, especially as used in an orchestra or band.
Also, tympani.

< Italian, plural of timpano kettledrum < Latin tympanum < Greek týmpanon

timpanist, noun
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World English Dictionary
timpani or tympani (ˈtɪmpənɪ)
pl n
(sometimes functioning as singular) Often (informal) shortened to: timps a set of kettledrums, two or more in number
[from Italian, pl of timpano kettledrum, from Latin: tympanum]
tympani or tympani
pl n
[from Italian, pl of timpano kettledrum, from Latin: tympanum]
'timpanist or tympani
'tympanist or tympani

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1876, plural of timpano (1740), from It. timpani "drums," from L. tympanum "drum" (see tympanum).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
timpani [(tim-puh-nee)]

Italian for kettledrums; the term timpani is often preferred by composers and performers.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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