noun, often attributive
\ ˈjaz \

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

b : accelerate

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 \ 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

Chucho Valdés has become one of the most influential figures in modern Afro-Cuban jazz. Jessica Roiz, Billboard, "Gloria Trevi & Chucho Valdes Among 2018 Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Honorees," 11 July 2018 British reedist Shabaka Hutchings, a dynamo rooted in jazz, is an agile and curious musician who spreads his soulfully biting improvisation across wildly disparate projects. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "British reedist Shabaka Hutchings brings his Caribbean-flavored jazz quartet Sons of Kemet to Chicago," 21 June 2018 In 1963, John Coltrane was something rare in jazz—a commercial success and an innovator who was always pushing the artform to new and interesting places. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "“Lost” John Coltrane Album to Be Released," 9 June 2018 The free event, which highlights African-American roots in jazz, brings rhythm and soul to South Boston Maritime Park on D Street. BostonGlobe.com, "Summer guide: Things to do around Boston and Cambridge," 2 June 2018 Jarreau remains the only vocalist to win Grammys in the jazz, pop and R&B categories, collecting golden gramophones in the 1970s, '80s, '90s and 2000s. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee native Al Jarreau's friends launch Kickstarter campaign for tribute album," 23 May 2018 Both camps run daily from 1-6 p.m. The $85 fee includes a camp T-shirt, snacks, swim fees, and classes in jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary and musical theater dance. Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, Houston Chronicle, "Looking for a summer camp? Here are options," 15 May 2018 In the media interview room Saturday, the Warriors, to class up the playoffs, piped in retro jazz between interview sessions. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "McGee’s defense stands out at starting center against Spurs," 14 Apr. 2018 The father is like his own favorite musical genres, jazz and funk, while the son defines himself as rap and hip-hop, which of course borrows from the former two traditions. David Roderick, SFChronicle.com, "State Lines: Rudy Francisco’s ‘In the Voice of Hip Hop’," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But because not everyone is as jazzed on the blank-canvas idea as Kristen Stewart is, the best advice is to think long and hard before you self-checkout that box dye. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "How to Fix Bad Box Hair Dye," 10 July 2018 Many girls jazzed up their outfits with sparkling jewelry and purses, while some guys opted for top hats and colorful suit patterns. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland.com, "West Geauga high school celebrates 2018 prom at Landerhaven (photos)," 12 May 2018 The 6-2, 220-pound Portland native looked particularly jazzed to perform before his hometown crowd. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "His Dawg days behind him, assistant coach Cort Dennison enjoying 'us mentality' with Oregon Ducks," 12 Apr. 2018 The standard way of divvying up investments — such as the 60% stock/40% bond portfolio — doesn't get this younger set jazzed up. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Millennial 401(k)s: a peek inside their "socially responsible" investments," 11 May 2018 But mostly, we're jazzed because the release of this shoe marks an instance of a unique style made famous by the fashion world trickling back down to the streets. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Reebok's Newest Sock Sneaker Looks Like It Should Cost a Thousand Bucks," 11 May 2018 Fans were even more jazzed about director Scott Derrickson signing on to the project shortly following his very entertaining entry into the Marvel universe, Doctor Strange. Emma Stefansky, HWD, "Director Scott Derrickson Leaves Snowpiercer TV Series Over Showrunner’s “Radically Different Vision”," 1 July 2018 As the ripe backyard fruit tree branches hang low, consider jazzing up your summer drink menus, too. Claire Perez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Claire's tip of the week: Say cheers to mango cocktails," 8 June 2018 But, not everyone is too jazzed about this upcoming collaboration. refinery29.com, "When Sesame Street Sues You, Get Yourself A Puppet Lawyer," 28 May 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



Phrases Related to jazz

jazz up

Statistics for jazz

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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 \

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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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).


to make amends

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