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percussion Syllabification: per·cus·sion
Pronunciation: /pərˈkəSHən/

Definition of percussion in English:


1Musical instruments played by striking with the hand or with a handheld or pedal-operated stick or beater, or by shaking, including drums, cymbals, xylophones, gongs, bells, and rattles: [as modifier]: percussion instruments the percussion section
More example sentences
  • Nigerian music is dependent on strong rhythms supplied by countless drums and percussion instruments.
  • The Adagio would probably do that if arranged for tuned percussion.
  • The tunes remain but the clattering percussion and meandering vocals transport them to a whole other level.
2The striking of one solid object with or against another with some degree of force: the clattering percussion of objects striking the walls and the shutters
More example sentences
  • For pebbles and larger particles, surface textures, such as weathering pits and percussion fractures, provide important clues to particle history.
  • In particular, the supporters of energy/work rightly doubted its competence to deal with phenomena involving percussion and impact.
  • We may leave aside bizarre examples whereby smell or impact, percussion, may have had some effect.
2.1 Medicine The action of tapping a part of the body as part of a diagnosis: the chest sounded dull on percussion
More example sentences
  • Physical examination through percussion and palpation, however, would reveal more about the size of the liver than a flat film since the flat film only reveals one of the apecies.
  • This involves four steps: observation, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.
  • Physical examination revealed dullness to percussion and decreased breath sounds at both bases.


Pronunciation: /pərˈkəsiv/
Example sentences
  • The effect is dizzying, but totally inviting, and before you realize it, the virulent drum patterns and percussive effects have taken their toll.
  • Prancing and dancing to an infectious percussive beat, they had the audience clapping along.
  • The harsh whine of a small-arms weapon was completely different from the sharp percussive shock of her rifle.
Pronunciation: /-ˈkəsivlē/
Example sentences
  • Their tendency to embellish around a one-chord, acoustic guitar drone's a beautiful match to all that goes on percussively.
  • But his trademark six-ton razor-blade attack never makes itself known here - instead he uses the instrument percussively or stretches out string noise to blend with the static-electric buzzes, twitters and crunches.
  • Not only is she able to percussively shine thanks to the harder-rocker edge of the record, but she also adds wonderful vocal harmonies (particularly to the third section's chorus) and sings her first lead vocal.
Pronunciation: /-ˈkəsivnis/
Example sentences
  • A more prominently balanced orchestra adds excitement and he plays with more impetuosity and percussiveness.


Late Middle English: from Latin percussio(n-), from the verb percutere 'to strike forcibly' (see percuss).

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