syn·​co·​pa·​tion | \ ˌsiŋ-kə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce syncopation (audio) , ˌsin-\

Definition of syncopation

1 : a temporary displacement of the regular metrical accent in music caused typically by stressing the weak beat
2 : a syncopated rhythm, passage, or dance step

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Other Words from syncopation

syncopative \ ˈsiŋ-​kə-​ˌpā-​tiv How to pronounce syncopative (audio) , ˈsin-​ \ adjective

Examples of syncopation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And in this performance there was no missing Bernstein’s love of jazz syncopation and rhythmic propulsion. Howard Reich,, "CSO at Ravinia review: Marin Alsop poetically launches Bernstein tribute," 13 July 2018 Conversations in Cantonese, Tagalog, English and Mandarin started and stopped in the same impatient syncopation. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "In the chain-averse Bay Area, why are we so crazy for Asian restaurant chains?," 31 May 2018 The result was a rough-and-tumble rush in which melodic cross-currents and catch-up-if-you-can syncopations swallowed each other up. Marcus Overton,, "San Diego Symphony wraps up Masterworks series with an out-of-focus concert," 26 May 2018 To help answer the question, Applebaum envisioned all of music as a grid of squares, with each square denoting a kind of composition: music with lyrical melodies, music that emphasizes syncopation, or music using a quarter-tone system, for instance. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Generosity of Innovation," 28 June 2018 Bell’s massed voices negotiated their hairpin rhythmic turns, rapid-fire declamation and jazzy syncopations with remarkable precision at sometimes whiplash tempos, notably in the celebration after the king’s death. John Von Rhein,, "Grant Park Music Festival opens with a choral blockbuster under friendly skies," 14 June 2018 Apparent influences also include commercial graphic design, the flat and patterned color of Peruvian painter (and occasional muralist) Josué Sánchez Cerron and the aural syncopation of folk and popular music. Christopher Knight,, "'Made in L.A. 2018': Why the Hammer biennial is the right show for disturbing times," 5 June 2018 Stanley Gorbatkin’s career as an educator seems to have evolved in syncopation with his employer, Indian Prairie School District 204, over the last 30 years. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Retiring D204 assistant superintendent has seen district quadruple in size, go from old-school to high-tech," 25 May 2018 Popular music is more diverse and eclectic than ever, driven as much by synth musings and syncopation as power chords and soaring solos. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Fall of Gibson: Where have all the guitar heroes gone?," 7 May 2018

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

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for syncopation

Last Updated

29 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for syncopation

The first known use of syncopation was in 1597

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English Language Learners Definition of syncopation

music : musical rhythm in which stress is given to the weak beats instead of the strong beats


syn·​co·​pa·​tion | \ ˌsiŋ-kə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce syncopation (audio) \

Kids Definition of syncopation

: an instance of temporarily accenting a normally weak beat in music to vary the rhythm

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More from Merriam-Webster on syncopation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with syncopation

Spanish Central: Translation of syncopation

Nglish: Translation of syncopation for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about syncopation

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