razz·​ma·​tazz ˌraz-mə-ˈtaz How to pronounce razzmatazz (audio)

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English speakers are fond of forming new words through reduplication of a base word, usually with just a slight change of sound. Think of okeydoke, fuddy-duddy, super-duper, roly-poly, fiddle-faddle, and dillydally. Another word is razzle-dazzle, formed by the reduplication of dazzle (itself a frequentative of daze). In the late-19th century, the spirit that prompted razzle-dazzle (one early meaning of which is "a state of confusion or hilarity") seems to have also inspired razzmatazz. The coiners of razzmatazz may also have had jazz in mind. Some of the earliest turn-of-the century uses of razzmatazz refer to rag-time or early jazz styles. By the mid-20th century, we'd come round to the "razzle-dazzle" sense, though we still haven't completely settled on the spelling. You might, for example, see razzamatazz.

Examples of razzmatazz in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some seventy per cent of the company’s business was partnering with real-estate developers, equipping units with its electromechanical razzmatazz. Patricia Marx, The New Yorker, 4 Sep. 2023 There was enough razzmatazz to satiate this reporter’s inner child. M.t. Richards, Chicago Tribune, 24 June 2023 High-energy, the sequence features a combination of showtime razzmatazz – the tiny toon students, which once more include Babs and Buster, dancing down a staircase in top hats – and inormal university activities such as football. John Hopewell, Variety, 16 June 2023 Despite the unsettling subject matter there are also moments of charm, wit and even a razzmatazz number to act as a respite from the weight of grief, outrage and the ghosts of history. Frank Rizzo, Variety, 16 Mar. 2023 But American awards shows have much more razzmatazz, much more showbiz, and perhaps a broader range of people being involved. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 20 Feb. 2023 Plans being drawn up for the 46th President's big swearing-in ceremony next month make clear that his inauguration will be unlike any in the modern age — parades, inaugural balls and all the razzmatazz of the quadrennial knees-up will likely be shut down by the coronavirus. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 9 Dec. 2020 While writer-director Todd Haynes tells the story of fictional glam icon Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), modeled on David Bowie and his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, director Baz Luhrmann applies his showmanship razzmatazz to Elvis Presley (Austin Butler). Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 7 Mar. 2023 Host Cedric the Entertainer, Billy Porter, Jonathan Groff, and a radiant Rita Wilson all make karaoke appearances to sing about their love of TV, as does, amazingly, an ecstatic Michael Douglas, who’s enjoying the razzmatazz in the background with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 20 Sep. 2021

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

Word History


probably alteration of razzle-dazzle

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of razzmatazz was in 1917


Dictionary Entries Near razzmatazz

Cite this Entry

“Razzmatazz.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/razzmatazz. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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