noun, often attributive
\ ˈjaz How to pronounce jazz (audio) \

Definition of jazz

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : American music developed especially from ragtime and blues and characterized by propulsive syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, varying degrees of improvisation, and often deliberate distortions of pitch and timbre
b : popular dance music influenced by jazz and played in a loud rhythmic manner
2 : similar but unspecified things : stuff that wind, and the waves, and all that jazz— John Updike
3 : empty talk : humbug spouted all the scientific jazz— Pete Martin


jazzed; jazzing; jazzes

Definition of jazz (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : enliven usually used with up
2 : to play in the manner of jazz

intransitive verb

1 : to go here and there : gad
2 : to dance to or play jazz

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Other Words from jazz


jazzlike \ ˈjaz-​ˌlīk How to pronounce jazzlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of jazz in a Sentence


What's all this jazz about you leaving? She loves hiking, biking, and all that jazz.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The couple has since renovated the place and infused it with new life—with jazz, contemporary art and world-class cooking—creating an intimate destination... Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: Ripeness Is All," 15 Feb. 2019 Her language is part chamber jazz, part big-boned rock percussion, part free improvisation. New York Times, "14 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 Ouija boards and séances seemed old-fashioned in the new world of flappers, jazz, and Prohibition. Joy Lanzendorfer, Longreads, "Ghost Writer: The Story of Patience Worth, the Posthumous Author," 14 June 2018 Blumenfeld writes about jazz and Afro-Latin music for the Journal. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "‘Duologue’ by Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez Review: Channeling Cross-Cultural Passions," 26 Jan. 2019 Paul de Barros has written about jazz for The Seattle Times since 1982. Paul De Barros, The Seattle Times, "From Norah Jones to Dawn Clement, women shone at Monterey Jazz Festival 2018," 24 Sep. 2018 Vitamin C, a group led by trumpeter Chalis O’Neal, collaborated on au currant jazz at Black Dolphin. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Built to Spill, Social Distortion fittingly end great music day at Middle of the Map," 1 July 2018 The album furthers his unorthodox approach to implanting jazz in a more contemporary context while relying on his encyclopedic knowledge of funk, calypso, gospel and the imaginative stylings of John Coltrane. Megan Buerger, Billboard, "Kamasi Washington Talks New Double Album and Why 'No Door Is Closed' After Working With Kendrick Lamar," 29 June 2018 Rosanne Cash will continue the Cash family legacy with a mixture of country, folk, blues, Americana and jazz at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2. Richard Chang, latimes.com, "Classical music, dance, theater, jazz and lectures are all on tap for Musco Center's third year," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Let’s face it: With everything terrible going on in the world, most adults probably aren’t as jazzed about wearing the typically bloody, ghoulish Halloween costumes. Katie Devlin, Vogue, "11 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes, Inspired by Feel-Good Movies," 30 Oct. 2018 The result denied Democrats momentum that would have jazzed up their base and helped fill the coffers of dozens of their House candidates. Karl Rove, WSJ, "The ‘Blue Wave’ May Be Receding," 8 Aug. 2018 Attention, Austin: A new movie is slated to debut at South by Southwest's Film Festival this March and we couldn't be more jazzed. Southern Living, "Willie Nelson and Neil Young Have Some Exciting News for You," 2 Feb. 2018 Chicken Breast Stuffed with Goat Cheese wrapped in Prosciutto Looking for a fast way to jazz up your same old boring chicken? Fox News, "16 decadent Christmas main dishes," 16 Dec. 2015 For as long as she's been on the Supreme Court, she's jazzed up her black robes with some truly dazzling neckwear. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Collars Decoded: What Each Neckpiece Means," 30 Nov. 2018 The brand, clearly jazzed about joining the ranks of single-name stars (looking at you, Rihanna and Beyoncé, followed that tweet with the announcement of a Dunkin’ friendship bracelet sweepstakes. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Fans React to the Dunkin’ Donuts Name Change," 26 Sep. 2018 Harry Styles jazzed up his signature look in Mexico City Friday night (June 1). Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, "Harry Styles Pulls Off Mariachi-Inspired Look at Mexico City Show," 2 June 2018 Inside, the restrained white-and-grey color scheme and parquet floors are jazzed up with interesting furniture from the antiques dealer down the road and bright art by the likes of Barbara Hulanicki. Laura Goulden, Condé Nast Traveler, "34 Best Hotels in London," 26 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of jazz


1913, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1915, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for jazz


origin unknown

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Learn More about jazz

Dictionary Entries near jazz





jazz ballet



Statistics for jazz

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jazz

The first known use of jazz was in 1913

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More Definitions for jazz



English Language Learners Definition of jazz

: a type of American music with lively rhythms and melodies that are often made up by musicians as they play
: meaningless or foolish talk
: similar things


\ ˈjaz How to pronounce jazz (audio) \

Kids Definition of jazz

: a type of American music with lively rhythms and melodies that are often made up by musicians as they play

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More from Merriam-Webster on jazz

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jazz

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jazz

Spanish Central: Translation of jazz

Nglish: Translation of jazz for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jazz for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jazz

Comments on jazz

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


an enemy or opponent

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