From Old French percussir, from Latin percussus, past participle of percutere (“to strike or pierce through”), from per (“through”) + quatere (“to shake, strike”).
percuss (third-person singular simple present percusses, present participle percussing, simple past and past participle percussed)
- (transitive) To strike; to hit; to knock; to deliver a blow to.
- Solid bodies, if they be very softly percussed, give no sound.
- (intransitive) To impact.
- Falling on the roof of the caravan, the hailstones percussed noisily.
- (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.
- (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.