Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Old French percussir, from Latin percussus, past participle of percutiō (strike, beat), from per (through) + quatiō (shake, strike).



percuss (third-person singular simple present percusses, present participle percussing, simple past and past participle percussed)

  1. (transitive) To strike; to hit; to knock; to give a blow to.
    Solid bodies, if they be very softly percussed, give no sound.
  2. (intransitive) To impact.
    Falling on the roof of the caravan, the hailstones percussed noisily.
  3. (transitive, chiefly medicine) To attempt to divine the location or other quality of something by tapping on (an overlying surface).
    The doctor percussed his chest to determine whether he had pneumonia.
    • 2016, Susan F. Wilson, Jean Foret Giddens, Health Assessment for Nursing Practice, Elsevier Health Sciences (ISBN 9780323377782), page 259
      PERCUSS the abdomen for tones. Percuss the abdomen when you suspect distention, fluid, or solid masses. Procedure: See Chapter 3 for the procedures for percussion. Percuss all quadrants for tones, using indirect percussion to assess density of abdominal contents (Fig. 13-11). Percuss in each quadrant for tympany and dullness. FIG. 13-11 Systematic Route for Abdominal Percussion.
  4. (transitive, chiefly medicine) To attempt to divine the location or other quality of (something) by tapping on an overlying surface.
    Percussing a patient's spleen is best done while he is on his back.
    • 2007, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Emergency Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (ISBN 9781582554648)
      As you percuss the kidneys, check for pain or tenderness, behind other organs which suggests a kidney infection. Remember to percuss both sides of the body to assess both kidneys.

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]