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

Gould describes the score as pop-inspired and contemporary, but with touches of jazz and other music from Lempicka’s era. Christopher Wallenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Lempicka,’ an artist who lives her life in bold strokes," 12 July 2018 This morning Chicago art gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey—which also runs a superb record label under the same name, focusing on jazz and improvisation—announced the winners of the first Instant Award in Improvised Music. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Music / Post No Bills New $50,000 prize in improvised music gives its first awards to Joe McPhee and Susan Alcorn," 10 July 2018 When: July 6-8 Where: Near West Side How much: $10-$169 The skinny: Enjoy reggae, gospel, R&B, blues, jazz and rock music and browse some 200 vendors. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago festivals this week: Taste of Chicago, Millennium Art Festival, Live on Lincoln," 3 July 2018 For me, Bernstein’s evocations of rock are only glancing, tinged with jazz and blues. New York Times, "Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?," 13 July 2018 Those nostalgic for the Shanghai of old depict it as a city of hot jazz and cold Champagne, swanky nightclubs and sleek autos. Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, WSJ, "‘City of Devils’ Review: Chicago on the Huangpu," 13 July 2018 In July alone there are three separate music festivals featuring blues, jazz and classical, then a county fair in August, and, in September, the premier event of the year, the Wooden Boats, with some 300 vessels to spark visitors' interest. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Port Townsend, Washington: Victorian paradise in the Pacific Northwest," 12 July 2018 From jazz and heroin, to marijuana and reggae, to whiskeys in country music, and the great range of substances in rock and roll, drugs and alcohol have had major influences on both art and artist. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 This concert, part of the Artes Unplugged series at the Rose Marine Theater, features Fort Worth singer Stephanie Gonzales and the band performing retro styles of music including big band, swing, jazz and more. Sandy Guerra-cline, star-telegram, "River rockers, kid actors and peaches make the top 10 list of things to do in DFW," 11 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



Statistics for jazz

Last Updated

10 Nov 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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