from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To strike or tap firmly, as in medical percussion: The doctor percussed the patient's chest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To strike; to hit; to knock; to deliver a blow to.
  • v. To impact.
  • v. To attempt to divine the location or other quality of something by tapping on (an overlying surface).
  • v. To attempt to divine the location or other quality of (something) by tapping on an overlying surface.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To strike or tap in an examination by percussion. See percussion, 3.
  • transitive v. To strike smartly; to strike upon or against.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike against so as to shake or give a shock to; strike.
  • Specifically, in medicine: To tap or strike for diagnostic purposes. See percussion, 4 .
  • To tap or strike for therapeutie purposes. See percussion, 4 .

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. strike or tap firmly


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin percutere, percuss-, to strike hard : per-, per- + quatere, to strike; see kwēt- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French percussir, from Latin percussus, past participle of percutere ("to strike or pierce through"), from per ("through") + quatere (" to shake, strike").


  • He teaches him how to read the signs from the human body, to use his hands to percuss, and to use his mind to listen.

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  • He moved onto more recent acts, slim-hipped and breastless women with curly brown hair and hyper-aggressive technique, women who were better axe-men than he, who shouted like bluesmen and rained down upon him the redemptive fires of slide and the snapping percuss of bass strings.

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  • Ten things I like that begin with the letter K: 1. Knights, as we of the Boogie Knights oft refer to ourselves. boogiebabe_smap, theo_knight, John, Heather, Linda, and cairokate are all good eggs and wonderful bandmates, and it's been a privilege to percuss for them for the past year.

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  • During the procedure your physician first will percuss, or “tap out,” your liver, and mark a suitable spot.


  • When we raise the arms from the side and percuss the thorax between the folds of the axillae, where the serratus magnus muscle alone intervenes between the ribs and the skin, the pulmonic sound will answer clearly.

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  • I will first produce the vowel sound _oo_ and proceed with the vowel sounds to _i_; you will observe that the pitch rises an octave; that this is due to the changes in the form of the resonator is shown when I percuss the resonator in the position of the different vowel sounds.

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  • Since pain in the knee-joint may mislead as to the location of the disease, to determine the seat of the affection, place the patient in a chair and percuss the knee lightly, by giving it a slight blow with the knuckle; if the hip be affected, the pain will be readily felt in that joint; if it be simply neuralgia of the knee-joint, it will excite no pain whatever.

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  • I have other fish to fry, other drums to percuss, other plantar warts to palpate.

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  • Ask the patient to take a deep  breath and percuss this area again  Dullness in this area is a sign of splenic enlargement.

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  • The moment I heard her harp begin to percuss in "Bridges and Balloons", my ear instinctively cocked, sensing something unlike anything I'd ever heard before.

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