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Tym"pa*num (?), n.; pl. E. Tympanums (#), L. Tympana (#). [L., a kettledrum, a drum or wheel in machines, the triangular area in a pediment, the panel of a door, Gr. ty`mpanon, ty`panon, fr. &unr_; to strike, beat. See Type, and cf. Timbrel.] 1. (Anat.) (a) The ear drum, or middle ear. Sometimes applied incorrectly to the tympanic membrane. See Ear. (b) A chamber in the anterior part of the syrinx of birds.
2. (Zo&ö;l.) One of the naked, inflatable air sacs on the neck of the prairie chicken and other species of grouse.
3. (Arch.) (a) The recessed face of a pediment within the frame made by the upper and lower cornices, being usually a triangular space or table. (b) The space within an arch, and above a lintel or a subordinate arch, spanning the opening below the arch.
4. (Mech.) A drum-shaped wheel with spirally curved partitions by which water is raised to the axis when the wheel revolves with the lower part of the circumference submerged, -- used for raising water, as for irrigation.