play musical chairs

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play musical chairs

1. Literally, to play the children's game known as "musical chairs," in which participants walk around a circle of chairs until the music stops and each person tries to sit on a chair. There are always fewer chairs than players, and the person who remains standing is removed from the game after each round, until only one remains. Mommy, can we play musical chairs at my birthday party?
2. To move, shuffle, or rearrange people from one position to another, as in a group or organization. After the boss resigned, everyone started playing musical chairs in the company to figure out who would take over for whom. We've been playing musical chairs trying to create enough space in the living room for Alex's birthday party this weekend.
See also: chair, musical, play

musical chairs, play

Move around from position to position, such as the jobs in an organization. For example, Bob took over for Tom, who took over for Mary, who got Bob's title-the boss loves to play musical chairs with the staff . This expression alludes to the children's game in which children walk around a number of seats while music plays, and there is one less chair than players. When the music stops the players must sit down, and the player who is left standing is eliminated. Then another chair is removed, and the game goes on until only one player is left sitting. [c. 1900]
See also: musical, play
References in periodicals archive ?
The President is playing musical chairs with our highest ranking diplomatic and national security officials.
Before the competing teams were introduced to fans, the Globetrotters mascot came out to the court and warmed up the crowd by playing musical chairs with some of the children in attendance, and by competing in a dance-off with the master of ceremonies.
I also enjoyed Matisse the BGT dog getting bored waiting for Greg James to announce the Comedy winner and trotting y back to Jules in the wings, Chris Eubank walking backwards off stage and Holly Willoughby playing musical chairs with Keith Lemon and Phillip Schofield.
Despite playing musical chairs at quarterback since Marcus Mariota left for the NFL, Oregon is currently tied with California for No.
For main courses it's like playing musical chairs around civilization's seminal sea -- where the music stops, you order something.
This they heard even from him and Benazir Bhutto volubly when they were playing musical chairs in the power game.
Websites, social media, mobile devices--these things that occupied the fringes of a studio's strategic outlook--have to be brought front and center, and it certainly isn't going to be the same old incestuous circle of executives playing musical chairs who can be counted on to make that happen.
After several years of playing musical chairs with the books, a political consensus is emerging that pensioners, particularly wealthy ones, should share some of the austerity burden.
But if it doesn't achieve that then it could just be a case of playing musical chairs.
Dhoni has been playing musical chairs, dropping Rohit and Ashwin by turns to accommodate Jadeja, but it remains to be seen how he repays the faith in the remainder of the series and brings the smile back on his skipper's face.
If you've ever tired of queuing for food at a buffet, or found yourself playing musical chairs while everyone at your table gets up to get food at different times, then you'll probably agree it's about time for a new take on brunch: one where the food is brought to you.
Altering course not playing musical chairs with Cabinet second rankers is what Britain desperately needs.
It was not unusual for different people share the same table while playing musical chairs with whatever chair or stool was available.
They are now playing musical chairs with their programme production and Birmingham appears to have lost its seat.
I also liked playing musical chairs in the pool with floating balls and doing water aerobics.