rag·​time | \ ˈrag-ˌtīm How to pronounce ragtime (audio) \

Definition of ragtime

1 : rhythm characterized by strong syncopation in the melody with a regularly accented accompaniment in stride-piano style
2 : music having ragtime rhythm

Examples of ragtime in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The music of William Bolcom spans quite a range, from rigorous symphonic writing to derivative ragtime-piano noodlings. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Grant Park Orchestra review: A fitting 80th birthday tribute to William Bolcom," 7 July 2018 One of his groups, the Society Orchestra, supplied music for the Castles, the husband-and-wife team responsible for popularizing ragtime dances. John Check, WSJ, "‘Making Music American’ Review: Turning Swords Into Saxophones," 28 Dec. 2018 His ragtime compositions and symphonies are wonderful music. Tom Keogh, The Seattle Times, "Philharmonia Northwest presents old and new music created entirely by Seattle composers," 14 Nov. 2018 Joplin was forgotten, and ragtime became an obscurity of Americana. Alex Vadukul, New York Times, "The Forgotten Entertainer Rag," 24 May 2018 The ten-person cast sings well to the accompaniment of an offstage chamber quartet, and Doyle's music evokes Gilded Age Chicago with waltzes and ragtime pieces as well as delicate art songs in the manner of Ned Rorem and Samuel Barber. Albert Williams, Chicago Reader, "There's no devil in Burnham's Dream: The White City, only music," 14 June 2018 Though the score evokes spirituals, jazz, folk songs, ragtime and Dixieland, the elements of musical theater came through most strongly in this performance, led with brio by Stephen Lord. New York Times, "A Soldier’s Racially Charged Suicide Becomes a Powerful Opera," 13 June 2018 In 2011, arranger/pianist Scott Bradlee formed Postmodern Jukebox around a simple yet ingenious concept: Perform beloved contemporary songs (Adele, The White Stripes, etc) in the style of vintage genres, such as ragtime and swing. Scott Bradlee, Billboard, "Scott Bradlee Shares How Postmodern Jukebox Got Him Fired From Walmart: Exclusive 'Outside the Jukebox' Book Excerpt," 7 June 2018 Composer Schachter describes the music as a blend of early-20th-century jazz and ragtime, African-American spirituals, and his own compositional language. Terry Byrne, BostonGlobe.com, "Paulus’s 10th season to include a revue of ART’s greatest hits," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ragtime.' 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 ragtime

1896, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ragtime

probably from ragged + time

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Statistics for ragtime

Last Updated

23 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ragtime

The first known use of ragtime was in 1896

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English Language Learners Definition of ragtime

: a type of lively music that is often played on the piano and that was very popular in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century


rag·​time | \ ˈrag-ˌtīm How to pronounce ragtime (audio) \

Kids Definition of ragtime

: music that has a lively melody and a steady rhythm like a march

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More from Merriam-Webster on ragtime

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ragtime

Spanish Central: Translation of ragtime

Nglish: Translation of ragtime for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ragtime

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