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See more synonyms for percuss on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. Medicine/Medical. to strike or tap for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
  2. to strike (something) so as to shake or cause a shock to.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Medicine/Medical. to strike the surface of a part of the body for diagnostic purposes.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for percuss

Historical Examples

  • Some find it easier to percuss the dullness due to the heart in this way than by mediate percussion.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

British Dictionary definitions for percuss


verb (tr)
  1. to strike sharply, rapidly, or suddenly
  2. med to tap on (a body surface) with the fingertips or a special hammer to aid diagnosis or for therapeutic purposes
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Derived Formspercussor, 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

percuss in Medicine


  1. To strike or tap firmly; perform percussion.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.