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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tromp \Tromp\, n. [F. trombe, trompe, a waterspout, a water-blowing machine. Cf. Trump a trumpet.] A blowing apparatus, in which air, drawn into the upper part of a vertical tube through side holes by a stream of water within, is carried down with the water into a box or chamber below which it is led to a furnace. [Written also trompe, and trombe.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

n. (context obsolete English) A trumpet; a trump.


A trompe is a water-powered gas compressor, commonly used before the advent of the electric-powered compressor. A trompe is somewhat like an airlift pump working in reverse.

Trompes were used to provide compressed air for bloomery furnaces in Catalonia and the USA. The presence of a trompe is a signature attribute of a Catalan forge, a type of bloomery furnace.

In Paris they were used for a time to compress air to drive the city's first electricity generation scheme, and in the Alps they were used in France and Switzerland to provide compressed air for early alpine tunnels.

Trompes can be enormous. At Canadian Hydro Developers' Ragged Chute facility in New Liskeard, Ontario, water falls down a shaft deep and across to generate compressed air for mining equipment and ventilation.

Usage examples of "trompe".

Dom returned the horses to the stables and found a rather harassed Second Armsmaster Eino Trompe about to come in search of them.

Eino Trompe replied pointedly, and Gustave sank further into his corner.

Eino Trompe when it was discovered the Prince and his friend had gone.

His berd was wel bigonne for to sprynge, His voys was as a trompe thonderynge.

Yemen on foote and communes many oon, With shorte staves thikke as they may goon, Pypes, trompes, nakerers, clariounes, That in the bataille blowen blody sounes.

Up goon the trompes and the melodye, And to the lystes rit the compaignye, By ordinance, thurgh-out the citee large Hanged with clooth of gold, and nat with sarge.

The flat was filled with talismen and mystical paraphernalia, found-art, totems, prayer-wheels, trompe l'oeil wall paintings, mandalas and plants, greenery everywhere, thick green stems bursting from all the corners of the lounge, explosions of red petals, terracotta pots of every size.

And now, as she gazed at the trompe l'oeil she'd created on the wall, she knew she shouldn't have tried to work at all, for the scene depicted beyond the faux French doors no longer seemed quite as real as it had this morning.

Maxine led the way through the turret, with its grandiose spiral staircase and its trompe l'oeil ceiling, into the house.

Dylan had seen masterpieces of trompe l'oeil in which artists, relying on nothing more than paint and their talent, had created illusions of space and depth that completely deceived the eye.

The spacious canopy was divided into sections by simulated paint and plaster architecture that merged almost imperceptibly onto a colossal trompe l'oeil portrait of an unbounded firmament, viewed from below.

The trompe l'oeil was enough to makedizzy, and so he quickly looked down.

The trompe l'oeil was enough to make him dizzy, and so he quickly looked down.

In fact, once they're close up, the door looks painted on, a trompe l'oeil.

Art and chemistry had come to the rescue: The denuded earth had been preseved under an immense sheath of pinkish brown fibreglass - the kind of trompe l'oeil topography used on movie sets, complete with moulded furrows and simulated scrub.