mix·​tape ˈmiks-ˌtāp How to pronounce mixtape (audio)
variants or less commonly mix tape
plural mixtapes also mix tapes
: a noncommercial compilation of songs copied (as onto a cassette tape or a CD) from various sources
In high school, I'd be making mixtapes for friends and girls instead of doing my homework, spending hours perfecting how a Smiths song and Joy Division song and Pixies song would convey the way I feel.Aaron Axelsen, quoted at SFGate.com
Writers like Nick Hornby have imbued the cassette tape with considerable romance, in particular the mix tape created for a loved one. In practice, these were often recorded directly from the radio, requiring your typical suburban suitor to sit around for hours on end, waiting for the desired track to appear.Richard Glover
: an album that is usually recorded and distributed without the involvement of a record label
The mixtape is an unofficial release. It might be tied to an imprint or a label, but it doesn't necessarily appear in stores. In fact, most of them can be purchased only on the streets, at the clubs, from the trunks of cars or from the artists themselves.Lance Scott Walker
Long before rap got any radio love, mixtapes were the main form of distribution, the currency that kept everything in rotation as the culture evolved.Sidney Madden and Rodney Carmichael
High-fidelity and laden with hits, So Far Gone had the sheen of a professional studio album, and it popularized the idea of mixtapes as low-pressure showcases for burgeoning artists.Jonah Bromwich

Examples of mixtape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Born and raised in inner-city Sydney, Laroi (real name Charlton Howard) ruled the ARIA Chart in 2021 for a single week with his mixtape F*ck Love (Savage). Lars Brandle, Billboard, 17 Nov. 2023 After spreading their wings with solo mixtapes and handing out guest features to damn near every rapper in Milwaukee, MarijuanaXO and Joe Pablo get back to their sweet spot as a duo. Alphonse Pierre, Pitchfork, 17 Nov. 2023 The younger of the Bennett brothers produced multiple mixtapes beginning in high school before releasing his first album, Broad Shoulders, in 2015. Nasha Smith, Peoplemag, 11 Nov. 2023 Hip-hop mixtape websites offering up free — and not always legal — music flourished in the gap between the fall of the CD era and the rise of streaming. Danny Hajjar, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2023 The choice to perform Diffie songs is tied to a new mixtape being released by Hardy. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 9 Nov. 2023 The killer’s mixtape of choice, for example, consists of songs by the Smiths. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2023 Minaj also reissued her 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty in 2021 and has teased a tour set to start in early 2024. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 24 Oct. 2023 Pitchfork writer Alphonse Pierre’s rap column covers songs, mixtapes, albums, Instagram freestyles, memes, weird tweets, fashion trends—and anything else that catches his attention. Alphonse Pierre, Pitchfork, 20 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mixtape.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1985, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mixtape was in 1985

Dictionary Entries Near mixtape

Cite this Entry

“Mixtape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mixtape. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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