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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Timbrel \Tim"brel\, n. [Dim. of OE. timbre, OF. timbre; probably fr. L. typmanum, Gr. ? a kettledrum, but influenced perhaps by Ar. tabl a drum; cf. Per. tambal a drum. See Tympanum, and cf. 2d Timbre, Tymbal.] (Mus.) A kind of drum, tabor, or tabret, in use from the highest antiquity.

Miriam . . . took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
--Ex. xv. 20.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

percussive Middle Eastern instrument, c.1500, diminutive of timbre (14c.), from Old French timbre in its older sense of "drum" (see timbre). Used in Bible translations, chiefly to render Hebrew toph, cognate with Arabic duff "drum," of imitative origin.


n. An ancient percussion instrument rather like a simple tambourine.


n. small hand drum similar to a tambourine; formerly carried by itinerant jugglers


Timbrel or tabret (the tof of the ancient Hebrews, the deff of Islam, the adufe of the Moors of Spain), the principal musical instrument of percussion of the Israelites, similar to the modern tambourine.

Timbrel (album)

Timbrel is an album by Terl Bryant. Released in 1999.

This is an album from ex Iona drummer Terl Bryant. The rhythms of praise flow through these psalms performed by Terl and a group including the talents of Joanne Hogg, Juliet Bryant, Charlie Groves, Ali Groves, Bruce Pont, Troy Donockley, Mike Haughton, Dave Bainbridge, Phil Parker.

The album includes some of the same musical traditions utilised by the band Iona. The character of the project maintains a style of music for Christian worship that is unique in its rhythmic focus. By incorporating vocal talents that are specific to the nature of each song, there is a personal element that allows each presentation to become unique.

Recordings took place at the following:

  • ICC Studios, Eastbourne, England – (Engineer Neil Costello)
  • Soundfield, Derby, England – (Engineer Neil Costello)
  • Gemini Studios, Ipswich, England – (Engineer Neil Costello)

Usage examples of "timbrel".

I ordered each one to be given something, such as a few beads, ten or twelve of those made of glass on a thread, some timbrels made of brass such as are worth a maravedi in Spain, and some straps, all which they looked upon as most excellent.

Some led small children by the hand, others followed with musical instruments: citharas, tabrets, timbrels, harps, dulcimers and cymbals.

Soon after this the noise of timbrels was heard, at the sound of which the whole Saracen cavaliers threw themselves from their horses, and prostrated themselves, as if for a second morning prayer.

Suddenly the terrified boy heard the drill of music, a cacaphony of blowing horns, the clash of timbrels, the trilling of reed flutes and the booming of taut skin drums.

As they slid into the fiery ovens the other attendants danced to the music of flute and timbrels, drowning out the pitiful shrieks of the offered.

First MOLOCH, horrid King besmear'd with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents tears, Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud Their childrens cries unheard, that past through fire To his grim Idol.

They heard, too, the pleasant mingled notes of a variety of instruments, flutes, drums, psalteries, pipes, tabors, and timbrels, and as they drew near they perceived that the trees of a leafy arcade that had been constructed at the entrance of the town were filled with lights unaffected by the wind, for the breeze at the time was so gentle that it had not power to stir the leaves on the trees.

And all the quivering wings, all the haloes, all the trumpets and psalteries and harps, the stringed instruments and organs, the timbrels and the loud cymbals were of burnished gold, and the denizens of heaven and paradise and earth alike were as sinuous and ethereal as the tendrils of rose and honeysuckle and vine that intertwined with them, and the sky above them as blue as the irises and periwinkles under their feet, until the tips of the angels’ wings melted into a zenith all blinding gold, in which the ultimate mystery vanished from sight.

What hautboys and Zamora bagpipes we shall hear, what tabors, timbrels, and rebecks!