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 Jenn Rose choreographed lively dance scenes, including the fizzy ragtime number where Castillo eludes Daniels. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Apr. 2022 But over the course of his time there, the music of the town changes to a more syncopated, looser ragtime. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, 6 Apr. 2022 Other Black band directors followed his lead, adopting more contemporary forms of music, such as ragtime, and elaborate performance styles. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2021 As a lyricist and as a composer, Porter’s voice is that of cosmopolitan sophistication and deeply etched emotion, and of the early mixture of jazz, blues, ragtime, art song and show-tune sensibilities. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 1 Oct. 2021 In fact, scatting as a whole was a Black innovation, as jazz was born from ragtime, spirituals and the blues. Brooklyn White, Essence, 1 July 2021 Both loved jazz — Pollock favoring Dixieland and ragtime, Krasner opting for bebop and progressive jazz. BostonGlobe.com, 7 July 2021 There’s a little soft-shoe, a little ragtime, with chattering thirds and dotted-rhythm chords over striding bass lines. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 27 June 2021 Derived from blues and ragtime, at its core jazz is rooted in Black culture, with iconic predecessors such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and many other acts. Allison Hazel, Essence, 9 June 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for ragtime

Time Traveler

The first known use of ragtime was in 1896

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Dictionary Entries Near ragtime

ragtag and bobtail



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Statistics for ragtime

Last Updated

13 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ragtime.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ragtime. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ragtime


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

More from Merriam-Webster on ragtime

Nglish: Translation of ragtime for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ragtime


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