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 Pregnancy—while beautiful and natural and all that jazz—comes with it's share of strange side effects: morning sickness, fatigue, an inexplicable craving for pickles and peanut butter...together. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "What is HELLP Syndrome? What Ob-Gyns Want You to Know About This Dangerous Pregnancy Complication," 10 Sep. 2019 According to the family’s website, Ariane enjoys horseback riding, hockey, drawing, playing guitar and jazz ballet. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Princess Ariane of the Netherlands Heads to First Day of High School — the Dutch Way!," 3 Sep. 2019 For much of the first half of the 20th century, Pennsylvania Avenue was a thriving center of black culture and arts, lined with movie theaters and jazz clubs, fine restaurants and prosperous businesses. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore’s Billie Holiday festival to celebrate black arts and culture on Pennsylvania Ave.," 30 Aug. 2019 ProCantus Chamber Singers is primarily an a cappella ensemble, performing a wide variety - from Renaissance to jazz. Tj Gibson, azcentral, "College offers community events to introduce locals to community leaders," 5 July 2019 As a teenager, Buika sang in jazz clubs on Mallorca and Ibiza, before eventually ending up as a single mother in Las Vegas. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carlos Santana on Woodstock, Tijuana and his vibrant new ‘Africa Speaks’ album and tour," 19 June 2019 Look forward to a wide range of musical performances ranging in genre from jazz to reggae to acoustic rock to bluegrass and more. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "Taylor Swift, 'Star Wars' with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and other great events in Philadelphia, July 13-20," 12 July 2018 The songs incorporated styles not usually associated with his career, such as funk, soul, jazz and even disco. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legendary singer Johnny Mathis brings ‘a little of this and a little of that’ to San Diego," 16 Sep. 2019 And in its diverse maturity, funk could respond to the demands of the market, and straddle the worlds of R&B, soul, jazz and disco. chicagotribune.com, "The 6 hottest Chicago shows to see right now," 13 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Or maybe Thursday night's 210 supporters of the TJ Martell Foundation were just that jazzed about finding a cure for cancer. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Pat Green headlines, donates cowboy hat to Best Cellars Dinner at Hotel ZaZa benefiting MD Anderson," 30 Sep. 2019 Mandy was neither right for Mark nor entirely jazzed about starring in Heartburn. Erin Carlson, Town & Country, "Meryl Streep Had to Fend Off Jack Nicholson Repeatedly While Filming Heartburn," 24 Sep. 2019 In the hope of luring these punters, the state lotteries have jazzed up their offerings. The Economist, "The Chinese state manages the world’s second-biggest lottery industry," 29 Aug. 2019 Good seafood needs very little in the way of jazzing up. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "These are the 5 recipes our readers loved most this week," 30 Aug. 2019 At the start of the show, dressed in blue Nikes, jeans, and a maroon T-shirt with a plaid button-up shirt over it, Oswalt appeared jazzed by the whole endeavor. Zach Freeman, chicagotribune.com, "Patton Oswalt’s show got moved to a Wicker Park rooftop — so he messed with the neighbor in the next building," 15 Aug. 2019 The same city already known for its quirky downtown murals wants to jazz up intersections and crosswalks in and around downtown, dolling up plain old pavement with playful designs to give Hollywood streets an artsy vibe. Susannah Bryan, sun-sentinel.com, "These funky murals are for the streets. And maybe they’ll kick drivers into slow gear.," 4 Aug. 2019 The former, almost Mozartean in simplicity, is made up of bun, burger, bun, the ABA form so beloved by poets and troubadours, perhaps jazzed up by the addition of a condiment or two. Peter Meehan, Los Angeles Times, "A collection of Gold-isms: soft-porn videocassettes, Claes Oldenburg and Metallica," 18 July 2019 For girls, rainbow sequins are a simple way to jazz up casual shorts without much fuss. Niki Mcgloster, Essence, "Go Back To School in Style: 7 “sCOOL” Looks Your Kids Will Love," 13 Aug. 2019

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

Statistics for jazz

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for jazz

The first known use of jazz was in 1913

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on jazz

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jazz

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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