from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The striking together of two bodies, especially when noise is produced.
  • noun The sound, vibration, or shock caused by the striking together of two bodies.
  • noun The act of detonating a percussion cap in a firearm.
  • noun A method of medical diagnosis in which various areas of the body, especially the chest, back, and abdomen, are tapped to determine by resonance the condition of internal organs.
  • noun The section of a band or orchestra composed of percussion instruments.
  • noun Percussion instruments or their players considered as a group.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of percussing, or the striking of one body against another with some violence; forcible collision.
  • noun The state of being percussed; the shock produced by the collision of bodies.
  • noun The impression or effect of sound on the ear.
  • noun In medicine: In diagnosis, the method of striking or tapping the surface of the body for the purpose of determining the condition of the organs in the region struck. It is employed chiefly in the diagnosis of diseases of the lungs, heart, and abdominal organs.
  • noun In therapeutics, tapping or striking in various ways with the hand or with an instrument as a therapeutic measure and a part of general massage.
  • noun In music, the production of a tone by a stroke or a blow, as upon any keyboard-instrument.
  • noun In palmistry, the outer side of the hand; the side of the hand opposite the thumb.
  • To arrange (a firearm) by fitting it with a percussion-lock, so that it may be fired by percussion.
  • In medicine, to treat by means of percussion massage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of percussing, or striking one body against another; forcible collision, esp. such as gives a sound or report.
  • noun Hence: The effect of violent collision; vibratory shock; impression of sound on the ear.
  • noun (Med.) The act of tapping or striking the surface of the body in order to learn the condition of the parts beneath by the sound emitted or the sensation imparted to the fingers. Percussion is said to be immediate if the blow is directly upon the body; if some interventing substance, as a pleximeter, is, used, it is called mediate.
  • noun See under Center.
  • noun a bullet containing a substance which is exploded by percussion; an explosive bullet.
  • noun a small copper cap or cup, containing fulminating powder, and used with a percussion lock to explode gunpowder.
  • noun See under Fuze.
  • noun the lock of a gun that is fired by percussion upon fulminating powder.
  • noun a match which ignites by percussion.
  • noun powder so composed as to ignite by slight percussion; fulminating powder.
  • noun a machine for sorting ores by agitation in running water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable the collision of two bodies in order to produce a sound
  • noun countable the sound so produced
  • noun countable the detonation of a percussion cap in a firearm
  • noun medicine the tapping of the body as an aid to medical diagnosis
  • noun music the section of an orchestra or band containing percussion instruments; such instruments considered as a group
  • noun engineering the repeated striking of an object to break or shape it, as in percussion drilling

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

  • noun the section of a band or orchestra that plays percussion instruments
  • noun tapping a part of the body for diagnostic purposes
  • noun the act of playing a percussion instrument
  • noun the act of exploding a percussion cap


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

[Latin percussiō, percussiōn-, from percussus, past participle of percutere, to percuss; see percuss.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin percussiō ("striking"), from percutiō ("I strike").


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