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

Noun What's all this jazz about you leaving? She loves hiking, biking, and all that jazz.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Similarly, Paul Peterson of Minnesota’s first family of jazz is offering a customized virtual holiday concert via petersonmusicandevents.com. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, "COVID didn't steal Christmas concerts: Streaming shows in the Twin Cities," 20 Nov. 2020 Avery passed away in 2013, but because his influence and importance was so big, the cast devoted a special section of the reunion to remembering him — and his love of jazz. NBC News, "7 things we learned on the 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' reunion," 19 Nov. 2020 Night clubs were at the epicenter of jazz’s growth in the post-World War II era. Los Angeles Times, "The music gift guide to get you through 2021," 30 Oct. 2020 A few years earlier, inspired by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Fitzgerald had greatly expanded her musical purview by incorporating elements of modern jazz into her music. Will Friedwald, WSJ, "‘The Lost Berlin Tapes’ by Ella Fitzgerald Review: Always in Full Swing," 3 Oct. 2020 Parker’s drive toward perpetual revolution in ideas and styles, and in personal bearing, foreshadowed the history of jazz to come. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "How Charlie Parker Defined the Sound and Substance of Bebop Jazz," 29 Aug. 2020 As part of the celebration of Allen’s life and work, Koleoso curated a special medley gathering the likes of U.K. jazz standouts Nubya Garcia, Mutale Chashi, Tobi Adenaike, Elias Atkinson, Richie Seivwright, Deschanel Gordon and Junior Alli. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Flying Lotus, FKA Twigs, Vince Clarke & More Win at 2020 AIM Awards," 12 Aug. 2020 Instead, they were greeted with a wildly ambitious novel that took its inspiration from the free-form riffs of jazz, in line with Black writers like Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. Calvin Baker, The Atlantic, "A Literary Movement Unto Herself," 2 Aug. 2020 One day in the early ’50s, three jazz legends were on a road trip from East St. Louis to California. Steve Knopper, Billboard, "Racism on the Road: The Oral History of Black Artists Touring in the Segregated South," 10 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Someone outspoken, prone to jazz hands and bursting with energy. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Rachel Bloom discusses new memoir, Adam Schlesinger's death: 'It still doesn't feel quite real'," 18 Nov. 2020 While a simple strawberry smoothie makes a yummy snack or light breakfast, there are some fun ways to jazz up this super sipper. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, "How To Make a Smoothie Like an Absolute Mix Master," 11 Oct. 2020 And to jazz up your garbage situation, there are these darling Pioneer Woman trash bin sets. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "The Pioneer Woman Walmart Collection Just Debuted Two New Gorgeous, Floral Slow Cookers," 2 Oct. 2020 Accordingly, her musical collaborators have ranged from such blues and rock pioneers as T-Bone Walker and Bo Diddley to jazz sax star Illinois Jacquet and pop crooner Johnny Ray. Karla Peterson, Michael James Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Phenomenal San Diego women: Creators and performers," 27 Sep. 2020 The easiest way to jazz up an otherwise plain front patio is by adding a few potted succulents and cacti. Sunset Magazine, "17 Landscaping and Design Ideas for Added Curb Appeal," 11 Sep. 2020 Unable to read or write music, Gaye detailed his sonic vision to jazz arranger Dave Van De Pitte, who set about translating to the musicians. Brian Mccollum, Freep.com, "Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' still relevant and revealing, 50 years on," 12 July 2020 Don Was, the Grammy-winning Detroit native who has been a Concert of Colors fixture, will lead the latest installment of his All Star Revue with an assortment of hometown musicians in a tribute to jazz radio personality Ed Love. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Concert of Colors to air as 4-night TV and radio special in October," 10 June 2020 It’s not a soup-to-nuts cold brew system, but a nice way to jazz up your presentation. Popular Science, "The best ways to get your iced coffee fix," 4 June 2020

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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Statistics for jazz

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jazz.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jazz. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for jazz


How to pronounce jazz (audio)

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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