re·​per·​cus·​sion | \ ˌrē-pər-ˈkə-shən , ˌre-\

Definition of repercussion

2a : an action or effect given or exerted in return : a reciprocal action or effect
b : a widespread, indirect, or unforeseen effect of an act, action, or event usually used in plural

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Other Words from repercussion

repercussive \ ˌrē-​pər-​ˈkə-​siv , ˌre-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for repercussion


effect, impact, influence, mark, sway

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Examples of repercussion in a Sentence

your decision not to go to college will have repercussions you'll feel for years to come

Recent Examples on the Web

That has a whole lot of repercussions for people who are selling this media or advertising against this media for listening to more of it. Eric Johnson, Recode, "What’s next for virtual assistants like Alexa? Maybe buying stuff for you automatically.," 24 Dec. 2018 That staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional repercussions, confirmed this incident with The Verge. Ben Guarino, The Verge, "An academic reported sexual harassment. Her university allegedly retaliated," 12 Nov. 2018 Foreign companies operating in China, meanwhile, have been bracing for possible repercussions following the recent arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s finance chief in Canada. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Microsoft’s Bing Search-Engine Service Interrupted in China," 24 Jan. 2019 Those repercussions can also play out physically, according to Julia Samuel, a grief psychotherapist who compiled a heart-wrenching series of case studies in Grief Works, published earlier this year. Kate Branch, Vogue, "How I Learned to Grieve the Loss of My Dad in the Age of Instagram," 6 Oct. 2018 But this most recent error carried serious repercussions. New York Times, "ABC Parts Ways With Investigative Reporter Brian Ross," 2 July 2018 The fourth is the negative psychic repercussions stemming from arguments, lying, lack of achievement, social isolation, and fatigue. Vivek Wadhwa And Alex Salkever, WIRED, "How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?," 26 June 2018 And the repercussions go beyond his now-absent spot in the House Democratic pecking order: given the already rampant talk of progressive insurgency in the Democratic Party, other powerful Democrats may soon be hearing footsteps. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ousts Joe Crowley, a Top House Democrat, in Stunning Upset," 26 June 2018 Another factor is that the strike could expose teachers to serious repercussions. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "The Third Major Red-State Teachers Strike of 2018 Will Start Next Week," 20 Apr. 2018

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

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for repercussion

Latin repercussion-, repercussio, from repercutere to drive back, from re- + percutere to beat — more at percussion

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Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for repercussion

The first known use of repercussion was in 1543

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English Language Learners Definition of repercussion

: something usually bad or unpleasant that happens as a result of an action, statement, etc., and that usually affects people for a long time


re·​per·​cus·​sion | \ ˌrē-pər-ˈkə-shən \

Kids Definition of repercussion

: a widespread, indirect, or unexpected effect of something said or done Everyone felt the repercussions of the change.

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Comments on repercussion

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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