tam·bour (tămbr′, tăm-br)
1. A drum or drummer.
a. A small embroidery frame, usually made of wood or plastic, consisting of two concentric hoops between which fabric is stretched.
b. Embroidery made on such a frame.
3. A rolling front or top for a desk or table, consisting of narrow strips of wood glued to canvas.
4. Architecture See drum.
v. tam·boured, tam·bour·ing, tam·bours
To do (embroidery) on a frame consisting of two concentric hoops.
To embroider at or on such a frame.
[Middle English, from Old French, perhaps ultimately from alteration (influenced by Arabic ṭunbūr, ṭanbūr, tambura) of Arabic *tabbūl, hypocoristic form of ṭabl, drum, or ṭubūl, plural of ṭabl; see TABLA, or perhaps ultimately from alteration (influenced by Arabic ṭunbūr, ṭanbūr) of Persian tabīr, tabīra, drum; probably akin to Middle Persian tumbag, and of imitative origin.]
(click for a larger image)tambour
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.