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 Staton began to perform on the Chitlin’ Circuit, a network of clubs and theaters for Black audiences and performers that traced its roots to the ’30s, when big band music was the chief draw, and was later a critical incubator of early rock ‘n’ roll. David Gambacorta, Longreads, 13 July 2022 Norman was a former big band singer who turned songwriter in the late 1950s. Variety, NBC News, 11 July 2022 Today, Tremonti is temporarily trading in his hard-rock setup for a big band ensemble — one that includes surviving members of Sinatra’s own orchestra. Amanda Peukert, SPIN, 30 May 2022 Patrons of South Side jazz clubs in the 1950s might have noticed something a bit different about pianist Sun Ra’s big band — slowly at first, then all at once. Hannah Edgar,, 23 Mar. 2022 At the same time, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis’ big band that follows in Ellington’s footsteps, performed at the Reneé and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, while the Harlem Quartet nodded in Ellington’s direction at the Wallis. Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2022 An orchestral tribute to Duke Ellington, the big band leader who also composed symphonies. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 3 June 2022 When swing and big band was the music du jour, Glenn Miller and his orchestra were at the top of the heap. Annie Alleman, Chicago Tribune, 22 May 2022 Nas, looking and sounding fresh to death, served old-school Nineties hip-hop bangers with a big band. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of big band

1917, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best wireless speakers.

Learn More About big band

Time Traveler for big band

Time Traveler

The first known use of big band was in 1917

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near big band

Bigarreau cherry

big band

big bang

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for big band

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Big band.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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