Definition of musical chairs 

: 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 Orioles optioned rookie catcher Chance Sisco back to Triple-A Norfolk following Friday’s game against the Texas Rangers, continuing the club’s peculiar roster rotation of musical chairs among its catchers. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Orioles option catcher Chance Sisco to Triple-A Norfolk," 13 July 2018 When the position’s musical chairs had ended, the Chiefs had also lost Phillip Gaines (signed with Bills), Terrance Mitchell (Browns), Kenneth Acker (Colts) and Darrelle Revis (cut). Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "In Chiefs' secondary makeover, a bounce back season from David Amerson is key," 15 June 2018 Gilbert Villegas, 36th, will become vice chairman of the Aviation Committee in a game of musical chairs at City Hall, replacing Northwest Side Ald. John Byrne,, "Emanuel names Ald. O'Shea to lead Aviation Committee, which will oversee massive O'Hare renovation," 26 June 2018 That set off a season-long musical chairs along the offensive line with center Max Unger the only real constant. Jonathan Jones,, "NFC South Offseason Report Cards: Bucs, Saints Boost Defense; Falcons Brace for Negotiations with Julio Jones," 26 June 2018 Cooper’s arrest and the resignation of Anthony Sanders in August — more than a year before the end of his term — set off a series of musical chairs on the five-member commission. Susannah Bryan,, "Hallandale mayor's arrest, commissioner's resignation set up November election," 22 June 2018 Like a glitzy game of musical chairs, one or two contestants won't receive a rose, just by the numbers. Rebecca Farley,, "Here's Who We Know Is Going To Bachelor In Paradise," 21 June 2018 When the waiting teenage competitors had their turn at the table, Hager made them play musical chairs and eat with their hands behind their backs. Barbara Henry,, "Fair contestants seek a slice of sweetness, ribbons," 14 June 2018 But fashion is a very fancy game of musical chairs, and Simons’ departure made room for a new voice to try on the mantle. Elizabeth Raiss,, "Why Do We Treat A Fashion Designer Leaving A Brand Like Someone Dying?," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'musical chairs.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of musical chairs

1877, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for musical chairs

The first known use of musical chairs was in 1877

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More Definitions for musical chairs

musical chairs


English Language Learners Definition of musical chairs

: a children's game in which players walk around a row of chairs while music plays and try to sit down when the music stops

: a situation in which many changes happen in a way that is confusing or harmful

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