percussion

noun

per·​cus·​sion pər-ˈkə-shən How to pronounce percussion (audio)
1
: the act of percussing: such 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
: the striking of sound on the ear
3
: percussion instruments that form a section of a band or orchestra
percussion adjective

Example Sentences

He plays percussion for the band. The marimba is a percussion instrument.
Recent Examples on the Web The album’s co-producer, Ron Aniello, serves as the core band on every track, playing guitar, bass, piano, organ, electronic keyboards, drums, and percussion. David Hajdu, The Atlantic, 19 Nov. 2022 Accompaniment features piano, trumpet, bass and percussion, with Broadway’s Marcy Harriell on lead vocals. Sarah L. Kaufman, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2022 The Festival of Hymns and Anthems presented an uplifting program of congregational hymns and choral anthems with majestic support by the brass ensemble, percussion, chorus, and of course, the Opus 327 organ. Gina Grillo, Chicago Tribune, 18 Oct. 2022 The 13-track project pulsates with bouncy Moonbahton, funk carioca, children’s choirs, South Asian percussion, and Tamil film soundtracks. Michelle Hyun Kim, Rolling Stone, 17 Oct. 2022 Exploring the interplay of percussion, piano, strings and flute, the musicians of Camarada will perform works by Haydn and living composers Michael Daugherty and Nathan Daugherty. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Sep. 2022 With Holy Fvck, however, Lovato is utilizing that voice for their most frank and genuine statement to date, in a mode — percussion-heavy pop-punk — that suits her well. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 19 Aug. 2022 Marching percussion, the rhythmic aspects of it, always had a big impact on me. Alessandro Corona, The Enquirer, 11 Aug. 2022 True to the spirit of their album, the Oct. 29 and 30 concerts by Britt (on an array of electronic gear) and Sorey (on drums and percussion) will be improvised on the spot — the better to encourage swift, real-time interplay. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of percussion was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near percussion

Cite this Entry

“Percussion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/percussion. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

percussion

noun

per·​cus·​sion pər-ˈkəsh-ən How to pronounce percussion (audio)
1
: the act of tapping sharply
especially : the striking of a percussion cap so as to set off the charge in a firearm
2
: the striking of sound sharply on the ear

Medical Definition

percussion

noun

per·​cus·​sion pər-ˈkəsh-ən How to pronounce percussion (audio)
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
: massage consisting of the striking of a body part with light rapid blows

called also tapotement

More from Merriam-Webster on percussion

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