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 formsun·per·cussed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for percuss

blow, blip, pat, punch, whack, knock, crash, pummel, beat, drive, collide, smack, touch, force, handle, lick, rub, tap, reach, feel

Examples from the Web for percuss

Historical Examples of percuss

British Dictionary definitions for percuss


verb (tr)

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 Formspercussor, noun

Word Origin for percuss

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

percuss in Medicine




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.