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
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

Felten is a journalist and jazz musician in Washington. Eric Felten, WSJ, "Rehearsal of a Lifetime," 19 Dec. 2018 This one really just pierces through your soul, and proves that John does jazz (new tour name?) really well. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The Best John Mayer Songs of All Time," 16 Aug. 2018 Rhythm and blues, jazz, blues, gospel and dusties performers plus steppers and choirs also are part of the lineup. Jessi Virtusio, Daily Southtown, "Disc jockeys given their due at inaugural Music Alliance Festival in Riverdale," 11 July 2018 The recital begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Doors open at 12:45 p.m. The recital will feature 20 local residents who will play a variety of pieces, including classical, jazz, and show tunes. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 19 June 2018 There will be a week-and-a-half long citywide Juneteenth celebration in honor of African-American history and culture with a barbecue, live jazz, food, a pageant, a talent show and more. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Coming up: Juneteenth, a traveling circus and Cut/Copy," 14 June 2018 Source communities arise and form new cultural products on an ongoing basis, and appropriation can apply to both ancient traditions like basket weaving and modern creative genres like jazz or hip-hop. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "The cultural appropriation debate has changed. But is it for the better?," 18 Dec. 2018 But later, when Jesse brings a woman to watch William play jazz, William inquires about her. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 3 Episode 8: Miguel Claps Back," 21 Nov. 2018 As the website notes, there will be all kinds of different numbers — from ballroom and jazz to modern and hip-hop. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The 'Dancing With the Stars' Tour Sounds Especially Amazing This Year," 19 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 And for her latest memorable moment in hair, Ari jazzed up an old favorite and brought scrunchies to space buns. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Wore Space Buns with Scrunchies," 19 Sep. 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

6 Jan 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 \

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).


a complex dispute or argument

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