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[per-kuhs] /pərˈkʌs/
verb (used with object)
Medicine/Medical. to strike or tap for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
to strike (something) so as to shake or cause a shock to.
verb (used without object)
Medicine/Medical. to strike the surface of a part of the body for diagnostic purposes.
Origin of percuss
1550-60; < Latin percussus, past participle of percutere to strike hard, beat, equivalent to per- per- + -cut(ere), combining form of quatere to shake (see quash) + -tus past participle suffix, with tt > ss
Related forms
unpercussed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for percuss


verb (transitive)
to strike sharply, rapidly, or suddenly
(med) to tap on (a body surface) with the fingertips or a special hammer to aid diagnosis or for therapeutic purposes
Derived Forms
percussor, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin percutere, from per- through + quatere to shake
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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percuss in Medicine

percuss per·cuss (pər-kŭs')
v. per·cussed, per·cuss·ing, per·cuss·es
To strike or tap firmly; perform percussion.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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