music originating in New Orleans around the beginning of the 20th century and subsequently developing through various increasingly complex styles, generally marked by intricate, propulsive rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, improvisatory, virtuosic solos, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism through chromaticism to atonality.
a style of dance music, popular especially in the 1920s, arranged for a large band and marked by some of the features of jazz.
dancing or a dance performed to such music, as with violent bodily motions and gestures.
Slang. liveliness; spirit; excitement.
Slang. insincere, exaggerated, or pretentious talk:
Don’t give me any of that jazz about your great job!
Slang. similar or related but unspecified things, activities, etc.:
He goes for fishing and all that jazz.
of, relating to, or characteristic of jazz.
verb (used with object)
to play (music) in the manner of jazz.
Slang: Vulgar. to copulate with.
verb (used without object)
to dance to jazz music.
to play or perform jazz music.
Informal. to act or proceed with great energy or liveliness.
Slang: Vulgar. to copulate.
jazz up, Informal.
(informal) enthusiasm or liveliness
(slang) rigmarole; paraphernalia: legal papers and all that jazz
(African-American, slang, obsolete) sexual intercourse
(South African, slang) a dance
(intransitive) to play or dance to jazz music
(African-American, slang, obsolete) to have sexual intercourse with (a person)
by 1912, American English, first attested in baseball slang; as a type of music, attested from 1913. Probably ultimately from Creole patois jass “strenuous activity,” especially “sexual intercourse” but also used of Congo dances, from jasm (1860) “energy, drive,” of African origin (cf. Mandingo jasi, Temne yas), also the source of slang jism.
If the truth were known about the origin of the word ‘Jazz’ it would never be mentioned in polite society. [“Étude,” Sept. 1924]
All that jazz “et cetera” first recorded 1939.
“to speed or liven up,” 1917, from jazz (n.). Related: jazzed; jazzing.
A form of American music that grew out of African-Americans’ musical traditions at the beginning of the twentieth century. Jazz is generally considered a major contribution of the United States to the world of music. It quickly became a form of dance music, incorporating a “big beat” and solos by individual musicians. For many years, all jazz was improvised and taught orally, and even today jazz solos are often improvised. Over the years, the small groups of the original jazz players evolved into the “Big Bands” (led, for example, by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller), and finally into concert ensembles. Other famous jazz musicians include Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald.
: a jazz trumpet/ jazz riffs
[origin unknown; jass was an earlier spelling]
noun 1. the period that in the U.S. extended roughly from the Armistice of 1918 to the stock-market crash of 1929 and was notable for increased prosperity, liberated or hedonistic social behavior, Prohibition and the concomitant rise in production and consumption of bootleg liquor, and the development and dissemination of jazz and ragtime and associated […]
noun 1. a band specializing in jazz, and consisting typically of trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, piano, double bass, and percussion.
[jaz-dans, ‐dahns] /ˈdʒæzˌdæns, ‐ˌdɑns/ verb (used without object), jazz-danced, jazz-dancing. 1. to perform jazz dance. noun 1. a dance form or dance that is matched to the rhythms and techniques of jazz music, developed by American blacks in the early part of the 20th century.