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Noun - concussion

  • 1. a violent collision or shock
  • 2. an injury to part of the body, most especially the brain, caused by a violent blow, followed by loss of function[1]

[ad. L. concussi{omac}nem, n. of action f. concut{ebreve}re: see CONCUSS. Cf. F. concussion, 16th c. in Littré.]


  • 1. The action of violently shaking or agitating; particularly, the shock of impact.

1490 CAXTON Eneydos x. 39 Juno prayd the goddys of wyndes that eueryche..sholde make concussyon and tormente in the ayer. 1541 R. COPLAND Guydon's Formul. Uiv, Woundes or sores made with concussyons or strypes. 1651 HOBBES Leviath. III. xlii. 303 A concussion of the Heavens. 1760 tr. Juan & Ulloa's Voy. (1772) I. VI. i. 306 This terrible concussion was general all over the province of Quito. 1825 J. NICHOLSON Operat. Mech. 647 Less liable to be broken by shocks or concussions. 1858 GREENER Gunnery 89 The proper shape and form of cannon to resist concussions. 1879 G. C. HARLAN Eyesight ii. 19 When the retina is irritated by the concussion of a violent blow..flashes of light..result.

b. transf. and fig.

1641 BP. HALL Serm. Rem. Wks. (1660) 65 The concussion or unsettlement of the state of Israel, and the division of it. 1846 PRESCOTT Ferd. & Is. I. Introd. 85 The brisk concussion given to the minds of the Catalans.

  • 2. Surg. Injury caused to the brain, spine, or other part, by the shock of a heavy blow, fall, etc.

1541 R. COPLAND Galyen's Terapeutyke 2Aijb, The solution of contynuyte called ecchymosis in greke commeth most often with concussyon and ruption. 1656 RIDGLEY Pract. Physick 68 Concussion of the Brain is made from an external cause. 1803 Med. Jrnl. IX. 177 The term concussion conveys not a precise idea of that derangement which is produced in the organization of the brain by external violence, on which account..I have been induced to substitute that of contusion. 1847 SOUTH tr. Chelius' Surg. I. 411 In concussion there is always gorging of the brain with blood. 1879 CARPENTER Ment. Phys. I. ii. §68 (1879) 72 The Spinal Cord must have been in a state of concussion.

  • 3. Extortion by threats or violence, esp. on the part of the ruling power. Orig. in Rom. Law.

1597 DANIEL Civ. Wares IV. lxxv, Concussion, rapine, pillories, Their catalogue of accusations fill. 1602 W. FULBECKE Pandectes 74 This Suetonius reckoneth as one of the concussions of Tiberius, who tooke from cities and priuate men the Mettals in which they were lawfullie interested. 1630 R. Johnson's Kingd. & Commw. 86 Many concussions are put in practice from the kings prerogative, to furnish the offices with reasonable allowance. 1640-4 Petit. in Rushw. Hist. Coll. III. (1692) I. 81 These great and high Concussions in the Prosecution of this Cause. 1730-6 in BAILEY (folio).

  • 4. Comb., as concussion-bellows, a self-acting reservoir for regulating the wind-supply in an organ; concussion-fuse, a fuse (in a shell) ignited by concussion or impact.

1881 C. A. EDWARDS Organs 44 The concussion bellows [is] a triangular reservoir placed over a valve in the wind trunk. 1864 Daily Tel. 18 May, The segment shells could not derive much assistance from their concussion fuses, on account of the soft state in which the ground was.