[ per-kuhsh-uh n ]
/ pərˈkʌʃ ən /


Origin of percussion

1535–45; < Latin percussiōn- (stem of percussiō) a beating. See percuss, -ion


per·cus·sion·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for percussion

British Dictionary definitions for percussion

/ (pəˈkʌʃən) /


the act, an instance, or an effect of percussing
music the family of instruments in which sound arises from the striking of materials with sticks, hammers, or the hands
  1. instruments of this family constituting a section of an orchestra, band, etc
  2. (as modifier)a percussion ensemble
med the act of percussing a body surface
the act of exploding a percussion cap

Word Origin for percussion

C16: from Latin percussiō, from percutere to hit; see percuss
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

Medical definitions for percussion

[ pər-kŭshən ]


A method of medical diagnosis in which various areas of the body, especially the chest, back, and abdomen, are tapped with the finger or a plexor to determine by resonance the condition of internal organs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for percussion


A family of musical instruments played by striking their surfaces. Percussion instruments are used to accentuate and dramatize certain notes or rhythms and include instruments such as cymbals, drums, triangles, and xylophones. (See kettledrum, snare drum, and orchestra.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.