Definition of tom-tom in English:

tom-tom

Syllabification: tom-tom

noun

  • 1A medium-sized cylindrical drum used in jazz bands, etc..
    More example sentences
    • One or more floor tom-toms followed and by 1940 the drum kit had reached its present form, though any number of peripheral instruments may be added by the player.
    • The opening song marches back and forth, back and forth on the tom-toms, while guitar chords are smacked awake.
    • He started the concert by drumming with his hands on a tom-tom, eventually progressing to the entire kit.
  • 1.1An early drum, of Native American or Asian origin, typically played with the hands.
    More example sentences
    • He struggled to walk onto the stage but played flute, tenor and alto sax, police whistle, African tom-toms and cow-bell with enviable vigour and verve.
    • She reinforces this hackneyed portrait by evoking African tom-toms.
    • Indian ceremonies, tom-toms, cheers, costumes, and painted faces may be part of their traditions.

Origin

late 17th century: from Hindi ṭam ṭam, Telugu ṭamaṭama, of imitative origin.

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