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Definition of "jazz" []

  • Music A style of music, native to America, characterized by a strong but flexible rhythmic understructure with solo and ensemble improvisations on basic tunes and chord patterns and, more recently, a highly sophisticated harmonic idiom. (noun)
  • Music Big band dance music. (noun)
  • Slang Animation; enthusiasm. (noun)
  • Slang Nonsense. (noun)
  • Slang Miscellaneous, unspecified things: brought the food and all the jazz to go with it. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "jazz" in a sentence
  • "One view is that jazz could have found its way to Illinois in the person of Bert Kelly, a banjo player who moved from San Francisco to form a jazz ensemble in the Windy City.7 It appears that the word jazz was only subsequently adopted by Dixieland bands from New Orleans, by artists in Harlem, and throughout the United States.v"
  • "Could the word jazz already have been used in 1914 with reference to New Orleans music?"
  • "John Edward Hasse and Bob Blumenthal tell us that the term "jazz" originated in New Orleans around the beginning of the 20th century, and that the art form spread when early practitioners left home to perform around the world."