big band


Definition of big band

: a band that is larger than a combo and that usually features a mixture of ensemble playing and solo improvisation typical of jazz or swing

Examples of big band in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Participate in an early 1900s-style celebration including a family parade at noon, games, children’s crafts area, live big band music, living history demonstrations, historic speeches and flag-raising. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "July 4th 2019: Here are the SF Bay Area’s parades, fireworks and more," 20 June 2019 Putnam said Tuesday that the Nashville session musicians in the ‘70s had to be versatile and Carrigan worked on everything from big band music to composer Henry Mancini to JJ Cale and Tony Joe White. Washington Post, "Jerry Carrigan, drummer for Elvis, George Jones, dies," 25 June 2019 Mendocino Music Festival: The seaside festival’s 33rd season includes more than 30 events in classical, jazz, big band and bluegrass, with food and wine events a big part of the attraction. Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News, "It’s a humdinger of a summer for SF Bay Area classical music fans," 20 June 2019 Music of many genres — ranging from big bands and classic rock to oldies and blues and everything in between — will be performed at various venues, including parks, community gazebos and beachfront properties. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Free outdoor concerts kick-off summer season throughout San Diego County," 20 June 2019 The second festival, in late August, honors the village’s patron saint, Louis IX, the French king and crusader, with a small carnival of local delicacies, flamenco dancing, big bands, theater and rides for the children and trovo for the old timers. Albion Land, WSJ, "If You’re Thinking About Retiring in Spain," 20 Nov. 2018 The 14-piece Big Ol’ Ensemble is his big band, but its repertoire for its DC JazzFest performance is that of Australian trumpeter-composer Elliott Hughes. Washington Post, "13 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 10 June 2019 Fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, preceded by a concert with Pitbull, Broadway star Heather Headley, and the Philly Pops big band. Ellen Gray,, "TV picks: 'Power,' 'Welcome America,' 'Succession' and more," 29 June 2018 Yes, sometimes being authentically U2 has meant embracing artifice; sometimes that's meant being the biggest band in the world with the most irresistible, anthemic choruses. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "U2 Brings Out the Sun Ra Arkestra, Pays Tribute to Anthony Bourdain at Legendary Apollo Theater," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big band.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of big band

1917, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about big band

Statistics for big band

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for big band

The first known use of big band was in 1917

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for big band

big band


English Language Learners Definition of big band

: a large musical group that usually plays jazz music that people dance to

Comments on big band

What made you want to look up big band? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!