musical chairs


plural in form but singular in construction
: a game in which players march to music around a row of chairs numbering one less than the players and scramble for seats when the music stops
also : a situation or series of events suggesting the game of musical chairs (as in rapid change or confusing activity)

Examples of musical chairs in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Bier Garten will feature a variety of Oktoberfest beers on tap and various wines along with a Stein-holding Competition, Musical Hut Spiel (German musical chairs) and Schnitzelbank (short rhyming verse songs). Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Sep. 2023 Inside the house, festive lanterns glowed from the ceiling and the youngest cousins played musical chairs in their party dresses. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2023 Advertisement Still circling for a seat in this game of musical chairs are Tyler Johnson, Demarcus Robinson and Lance McCutcheon. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 25 Aug. 2023 This extra, low-effort step makes guests feel especially welcome, as well as nips any potential musical chairs awkwardness in the bud. Betsy Cribb Watson, Southern Living, 15 Aug. 2023 The branding musical chairs leaves both ESPN and Barstool Sports in the positions that had previously been occupied by the other. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2023 The presidents and chancellors of the SEC schools met last week during the conference musical chairs, the commissioner said. Michael Casagrande |, al, 8 Aug. 2023 And no one wants to lose in this crucial musical chairs game. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 3 Aug. 2023 The free event also features food trucks, games for the kids (musical chairs, sack races) and live music. John Benson, cleveland, 3 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'musical chairs.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of musical chairs was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near musical chairs

Cite this Entry

“Musical chairs.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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