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

In 2012, French jazz musician Bernard Lubat improvised with the Continuator, which was trained in his style of musicianship, leaving audiences unable to distinguish the difference between the machine and the musician. Suyin Haynes, Time, "This Robot Artist Just Became the First to Stage a Solo Exhibition. What Does That Say About Creativity?," 17 June 2019 North Beach, whose booming nightlife once drew jazz musicians, strip club patrons and beat poets, now stands in stark contrast to the towering glass skyscrapers springing up South of Market and just as quickly filling with workers. Shwanika Narayan, San Francisco Chronicle, "The historic San Francisco neighborhood is suddenly littered with empty storefronts. What’s the reason?," 13 June 2019 Certainly numerous brilliant female jazz musicians are rising stars. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Fifty-Fifty Follies," 10 June 2019 Noted jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers was found dead outside a Bronx apartment. NBC News, "Grammy-winning jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers found dead in New York," 4 June 2019 Two people were arrested Monday in connection with the killing of a world-famous jazz drummer in a Bronx building over the weekend, New York Police Department officials said. Ben Chapman, WSJ, "Two Arrested In Death of Grammy-Winning Jazz Drummer," 3 June 2019 There is a jazz drummer who plays with the turn of a tiny crank. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "The Exacting Art of Saxophone Repair," 1 June 2018 In the days of Reefer Madness, any attention weed got was focused on THC, the component that allegedly made nice girls go crazy and shack up with jazz musicians. Meirav Devash, Allure, "Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil in Beauty Products," 20 Apr. 2019 People used to talk about the Cotton Club, and there were so many great jazz musicians here at the Birdland. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, "Ian Schrager on His Latest Luxury Hotel: "Why Not Times Square?"," 16 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Humor and tangy writing do intermittently jazz up the production, based on an Instagram project of local playwright Calarco’s that involved photographing commuters’ shoes and writing accompanying caption-scale stories. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "No shoo-in success for two new plays about female artists," 12 June 2019 This month, we're particularly jazzed about new rooftop bar The Shed above the eccentric Hôtel des Grands Boulevards , where red and pink sofas look out over charming apartment buildings. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: La Compagnie's Business Class to Paris for $1,000," 11 June 2019 Jon, being all Stark-ish, will probably not be jazzed about the idea of continuing to sleep with his aunt. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Could Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen Marry on 'Game of Thrones'?," 15 Apr. 2019 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

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

23 Jun 2019

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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

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