- A hollow drum-like sound produced when a gas-containing cavity is tapped sharply. Tympanites is heard if the chest contains free air (pneumothorax) or the abdomen is distended with gas. Another term for tympanites is tympany. Both terms are derived from the Greek "tympanon" meaning drum.
* * *Swelling of the abdomen from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity. SYN: meteorism, tympania, tympanism. [L. fr. G. t., an edema in which the belly is stretched like a drum, tympanon]
* * *tym·pa·ni·tes .tim-pə-'nīt-ēz n a distension of the abdomen caused by accumulation of gas in the intestinal tract or peritoneal cavity
* * *n.distension of the abdomen with air or gas: the abdomen is resonant (drumlike) on percussion. Causes include intestinal obstruction, the irritable bowel syndrome, and aerophagy.
* * *tym·pa·ni·tes (tim″pə-niґtēz) [Gr. tympanitēs, from tympanon drum] distention of the abdomen from gas or air in the intestine or peritoneal cavity, as in peritonitis and typhoid fever. Called also meteorism.
Medical dictionary. 2011.