per·​cus·​sive | \ pər-ˈkə-siv How to pronounce percussive (audio) \

Definition of percussive

1 : of or relating to percussion especially : operative or operated by striking
2 : having powerful impact

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Other Words from percussive

percussively adverb
percussiveness noun

Examples of percussive in a Sentence

The song had a punchy, percussive rhythm.

Recent Examples on the Web

Some of Barnatan’s percussive highlighting seemed to bring Mozart into contemporary times, if only for fleeting moments. Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Hollywood Bowl’s Mozart marathon is thin on surprise. In the end, that’s just fine," 6 Sep. 2019 There is no catcher or umpire; instead, pitchers aim for a 2- by-3-foot piece of metal hung behind the plate that lets out a percussive ding each time it is struck. Billy Baker,, "A New York-Boston rivalry on the (Wiffle Ball) diamond," 1 Sep. 2019 To their right is percussionist Jodi Linscott, a whirling dervish surrounded by percussive toys who spins a full 360, slashing and whacking away at all of them. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: The Who’s generation turned out at stadium 30 years ago," 23 Aug. 2019 The songs of Boulevards are suave and funny, with falsetto squeals, jolts of synth accents, and percussive heavy-breathing keeping things hot and heavy., "Boulevards bringing sexy good-time funk to Cafe Nine," 12 July 2019 Last year, some youngsters brought metal pails, others brought buckets or rain sticks and someone brought a tambourine to add to the percussive music. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Welcome summer with drumming celebration on Waukegan Beach," 3 June 2019 These large boulders are covered in percussive marks from thousands of years of use. Trevor Cox, National Geographic, "15 musical wonders to see—and hear," 31 July 2019 Enter to the percussive beat of a cleaver before sitting to a slow-cooked, spice-rich Jaliscan broth bearing the occasional bone splinter, served with a stack of hot tortillas and compulsory lime, onion and cilantro. Hadley Tomicki, Los Angeles Times, "17 places you probably have to try to understand birria in L.A.," 31 July 2019 Alsop’s orchestral accompaniment built from telegraphic percussive utterances to a majestic finale via a sustained, expertly managed crescendo. Howard Reich,, "CSO review: A vast exploration of Leonard Bernstein’s legacy over 2 nights," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'percussive.' 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 percussive

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for percussive

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for percussive

The first known use of percussive was in 1598

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More Definitions for percussive



English Language Learners Definition of percussive

: of or relating to a percussion instrument or to the sounds that a percussion instrument makes

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with percussive

Comments on percussive

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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