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tom-tom

[tom-tom] /ˈtɒmˌtɒm/
noun
1.
a drum of American Indian or Asian origin, commonly played with the hands.
2.
a dully repetitious drumbeat or similar sound.
Also, tam-tam.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95; < Hindi ṭamṭam
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for tomtoms

tom-tom

noun
1.
a drum associated either with the American Indians or with Eastern cultures, usually beaten with the hands as a signalling instrument
2.
a standard cylindrical drum, normally with one drumhead
3.
a monotonous drumming or beating sound
verb -toms, -tomming, -tommed
4.
(transitive) (informal) to pass (information, esp gossip) around a community very quickly
Word Origin
C17: from Hindi tamtam, of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for tomtoms

tom-tom

n.

1690s, "drum" (originally used in India), from Hindi tam-tam, probably of imitative origin (cf. Sinhalese tamat tama and Malay tong-tong).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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