One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tambourine or similar instrument.
- ‘Regular folk festivals are traditional in the villages, when the Gallegos, rigged out in national costume, dance the ‘muneira’ and the ‘pandeira’ to the music of the ‘gaita’ or bagpipes, timbrel and castanets.’
- ‘She intently watched their polished movements, sometimes involving switching between instruments - Naomi to the timbrel and Ellen to the oboe, pennywhistle or clarinet.’
- ‘And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.’
- ‘Young girls entertained by walking on their hands or doing summersaults or just by dancing to the beat of a sestrum or a timbrel.’
Early 16th century: perhaps a diminutive of obsolete timbre, in the same sense, from Old French (see timbre).
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