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musical chairs

Also called going to Jerusalem. a game in which players march to music around two rows of chairs placed back to back, there being one chair less than the number of players, the object being to find a seat when the music stops abruptly. The player failing to do so is removed from the game, together with one chair, at each interval.
Informal. a situation or series of events in which jobs, decisions, prospects, etc., are changed with confusing rapidity.
Origin of musical chairs
1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for musical chairs
  • Tell them that they will be playing a game similar to musical chairs.
  • As in a game of musical chairs, polluters must scramble to match allowances to emissions.
  • But rotation, as it came in full flower under the seeming promise of a quick truce, was a glorified game of musical chairs.
  • For the developers, it's proved a game of high-stakes musical chairs.
  • The annual offseason round of managerial musical chairs has unfolded in a fashion few could have envisioned.
  • Shops have changed places in a version of musical chairs, leaving empty storefronts in their wake.
  • Politics as musical chairs does not provide confidence.
  • Every day editorial rooms clatter with the sound of musical chairs and broken egos.
  • The game of political musical chairs is about to begin.
  • If possible, play sound only and use for games such as musical chairs or while you clean up.
British Dictionary definitions for musical chairs

musical chairs

noun (functioning as sing)
a party game in which players walk around chairs while music is played, there being one fewer chair than players. Whenever the music stops, the player who fails to find a chair is eliminated
any situation involving a number of people in a series of interrelated changes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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