Definition of tam-tam in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtam ˌtam/


A large metal gong with indefinite pitch.
Example sentences
  • The piece, scored for four percussionists, is played by the percussion group using a big array of gongs, tam-tams, tom-toms, suspended brake drums and so on, but is neither bombastic nor boring.
  • In the orchestra, I am thinking of using a certain number of brass and also metallic percussion: tubular bells, gongs, tam-tam, etc.
  • He caps this ‘movement’ with a resonant tam-tam that may not be in the score but it definitely adds to the effect!


Mid 19th century: perhaps from Hindi ṭam-ṭam (see tom-tom).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tam-tam

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