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.
Musical Chairs: What Janet Yellen’s New Title Really MeansWhen Janet Yellen was confirmed as leader of the Federal Reserve Board, she changed the title of her position from chairman to chair. Though this shocked the media, who were both elated and censorious, the term chair has been used in this sense for a very long time. Since the 1650s, chair has referred to “the person occupying a seat of office.” Around the same …
Singsong Phrases That Have Musical BackstoriesRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
- music to one's ears,
- music video,
- musica ficta,
- musical box,
- musical chairs, play,
- musical comedy,
- musical glasses,
- musical ride,
- musical saw
Origin of musical chairs
First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
noun (functioning as singular)
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