Jazz, a form of instrumental and vocal music characterized by syncopated rhythms and informal improvisation, has been called America's only original art form. If you've ever listened to Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, or Thelonious Monk, jazz is what you're hearing.

The term jazz originated not with music, but in baseball, where it was used as a synonym for "pep, vim, vigor." It began to be used to describe music about a decade after jazz first began to be played in 1900 New Orleans. Since then, like the art form it describes, jazz has changed and expanded its meaning. Today, jazz can refer to a genre of dance, to the act of "sprucing something up," to the decade of the 1920s (nicknamed The Jazz Age), or to holding your hands above your head and waving your fingers, making jazz hands.

Primary Meanings of jazz

a genre of popular music that originated in New Orleans around 1900 and developed through increasingly complex styles
play something in the style of jazz
empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk
have sexual intercourse with
Full Definitions of jazz

n a genre of popular music that originated in New Orleans around 1900 and developed through increasingly complex styles

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scat, scat singing
singing jazz; the singer substitutes nonsense syllables for the words of the song and tries to sound like a musical instrument
bebop, bop
an early form of modern jazz (originating around 1940)
boogie, boogie-woogie
an instrumental version of the blues (especially for piano)
cool jazz
jazz that is restrained and fluid and marked by intricate harmonic structures often lagging slightly behind the beat
an earthy type of jazz combining it with blues and soul; has a heavy bass line that accentuates the first beat in the bar
hot jazz
jazz that is emotionally charged and intense and marked by strong rhythms and improvisation
modern jazz, neo jazz, new jazz
any of various styles of jazz that appeared after 1940
traditional jazz as revived in the 1950s
jive, swing, swing music
a style of jazz played by big bands popular in the 1930s; flowing rhythms but less complex than later styles of jazz
Type of:
popular music, popular music genre
any genre of music having wide appeal (but usually only for a short time)

n a style of dance music popular in the 1920s; similar to New Orleans jazz but played by large bands

Type of:
dance music
music to dance to

v play something in the style of jazz

Type of:
play, spiel
replay (as a melody)

n empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk

“don't give me any of that jazz
idle words, malarkey, malarky, nothingness, wind
Type of:
talk, talking
an exchange of ideas via conversation

v have sexual intercourse with

have intercourse, have sex, love, roll in the hay
make out, neck
kiss, embrace, or fondle with sexual passion
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have, take
have sex with; archaic use
have sex without being married
engage freely in promiscuous sex, often with the husband or wife of one's friends
bed-hop, bedhop, sleep around
be sexually active with more than one partner

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