Also called going to Jerusalem. a game in which players march to music around two rows of chairs placed back to back, there being one chair less than the number of players, the object being to find a seat when the music stops abruptly. The player failing to do so is removed from the game, together with one chair, at each interval.
Informal. a situation or series of events in which jobs, decisions, prospects, etc., are changed with confusing rapidity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use musical chairs in a sentence
Unless some kind of sky-high musical chairs ensues, anything more than a cursory pre-potty hello could become a little tricky.Wingman, an App for Hookups at 30,000 Feet, Wants To Be the Tinder of Airline Travel | Charlotte Lytton | February 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But in cabinet-level musical chairs, timing is often destiny.The Short List of Candidates to Replace Janet Napolitano at DHS | Daniel Klaidman | July 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Most of the elites who were in power at the time of the uprising remain in power—just that they played a game of musical chairs.
But I want to see real benefits, not just rearranging the seats in a giant game of musical chairs.
As if they were all getting together to orchestrate the musical chairs.
In the midst of our agitation, we were compelled to play "musical chairs" with the others, as if nothing had happened!
The company had quite enough to talk about without having to fall back on shouting proverbs or musical chairs.Reginald Cruden | Talbot Baines Reed
I had the same lingering desire to remain near safety that you feel when playing "musical chairs" and you are near a vacant seat.'Green Balls' | Paul Bewsher
Three access points were playing musical chairs, dropping signal and reacquiring it, dropping it again.Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town | Cory Doctorow
Wiping his brow and whistling, he organised musical chairs; and, after musical chairs, cock-fighting.Tell England | Ernest Raymond
British Dictionary definitions for musical chairs
a party game in which players walk around chairs while music is played, there being one fewer chair than players. Whenever the music stops, the player who fails to find a chair is eliminated
any situation involving a number of people in a series of interrelated changes
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