Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

percussion

play
noun per·cus·sion \pər-ˈkə-shən\

Simple Definition of percussion

  • : musical instruments (such as drums, cymbals, or xylophones) that you play by hitting or shaking

Full Definition of percussion

  1. 1 :  the act of percussing: as a :  the striking of a percussion cap so as to set off the charge in a firearm b :  the beating or striking of a musical instrument c :  the act or technique of tapping the surface of a body part to learn the condition of the parts beneath by the resultant sound

  2. 2 :  the striking of sound on the ear

  3. 3 :  percussion instruments that form a section of a band or orchestra

percussion adjective

Examples of percussion

  1. He plays percussion for the band.

  2. The marimba is a percussion instrument.



Origin of percussion

Middle English, from Anglo-French percussioun, from Latin percussion-, percussio, from percutere to beat, from per- thoroughly + quatere to shake


First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with percussion



PERCUSSION Defined for Kids

percussion

play
noun per·cus·sion \pər-ˈkə-shən\

Definition of percussion

  1. :  the musical instruments (as drums, cymbals, and maracas) that are played by striking or shaking

percussion adjective



Medical Dictionary

percussion

play
noun per·cus·sion \pər-ˈkəsh-ən\

Medical Definition of percussion

  1. 1:  the act or technique of tapping the surface of a body part to learn the condition of the parts beneath by the resulting sound

  2. 2:  massage consisting of the striking of a body part with light rapid blows—called also tapotement





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up percussion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez kittly-benders duvet spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ