Definition of jazz in English:

jazz

noun

mass noun
  • 1A type of music of black American origin which emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, characterized by improvisation, syncopation, and usually a regular or forceful rhythm. Brass and woodwind instruments and piano are particularly associated with jazz, although guitar and occasionally violin are also used; styles include Dixieland, swing, bebop, and free jazz.

    • ‘This record yet again opened me up to the possibilities of blues, maybe a little jazz and even a little country.’
    • ‘Charlie Parker may have pioneered bebop jazz, but Miles Davis helped him to establish it.’
    • ‘The blacks of New Orleans are, in large part, what made it a great city: the jazz, the food, the poetry, the laid back ambience.’
    • ‘Of all types of commercially based American music, jazz is the one that has most consistently fostered musical artistry on a high level.’
    • ‘Jamming sessions in all the festival venues, led by the pros, will cover all styles of music from jazz to rock to blues and much more.’
    • ‘Beaudet's love affair with improvised music, and jazz in particular, took off.’
    • ‘When the band plays, the jazz is cool, the atmosphere is laid-back and the bar service is quiet but efficient.’
    • ‘Eight town centre venues will feature up to forty bands covering all idioms from New Orleans through swing to bebop and contemporary jazz.’
    • ‘Even Dixieland and swing jazz from that era really had fast tempos.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, Jon mixes up elements of dub, jazz and ambient music into the requisite funk beats.’
    • ‘The best in alternative music, including Caribbean jazz, was delivered.’
    • ‘We used to say that contemporary jazz is music in constant renewal, and in constant search of musical sparring partners.’
    • ‘Enjoyably, the lush vibe of the disc smacks of leanings to the jazz, funk and disco of George Duke and Eumir Deodato.’
    • ‘Their music is a mixture of Eastern European folk, gypsy, techno and American jazz.’
    • ‘The band specialises in playing a whole range of music including blues, jazz, reggae, rock and roll and country.’
    • ‘He and the Muddy Basin Ramblers have played a mix of country, blues, jug-band music and early swing jazz for over a year.’
    • ‘For experimental music listeners, jazz is probably as vibrant now as it ever was.’
    • ‘Other recommendations include better lunches, reducing the length of sessions and starting with some lively jazz.’
    • ‘They're playing a kind of light jazz, something lively to listen to without having to know the words.’
    • ‘The beauty of the packaging meets that of the music - for Latin jazz or piano trio fans this is a must.’
    1. 1.1 A style of theatrical dance performed to jazz or popular music.
      • ‘But the more you look at it, particularly on Broadway, you begin to see that, while jazz dance is distinct from ballet and modern and all the rest, it has borrowed from each of them.’
      • ‘Like jazz dance, Cuban dance forms owe an immeasurable debt to African culture.’
      • ‘Whether through ‘jazzy’ movement or a blend of ballet and modem, whether with extravagant sets or a bare stage with barefoot dancers, you may not recognize jazz dance when you see it, but you'll know it when you feel it.’
      • ‘He steeped himself in the venues that are defined by what we term jazz dance - a euphemism for dance shaped by the African-American experience.’
      • ‘The main genres of choreographed dance are ballet, modern dance, and jazz dance.’

verb

dated
  • no object Play or dance to jazz music.

Phrases

  • and all that jazz

    • informal And such similar things.

      ‘oh, love, life, and all that jazz’
      • ‘Is there going to be a flashback and all that jazz?’
      • ‘She told me her name, where she was from, where she went to school and all that jazz.’
      • ‘But I ‘really’ believe there are some things in life that are worth trying harder for and we just live once and we need to make the most of it and all that jazz.’
      • ‘I've done about fifty push-ups, lunges, and all that jazz.’
      • ‘I think once I get a little further into the story the chapters will come faster ‘cause then the plot thickens and all that jazz.’
      • ‘Well, I dutifully go to church every Sunday, sing the hymns, take communion, and all that jazz, but the truth is: I don't believe in God.’
      • ‘Layla may be beautiful and intelligent and all that jazz, but she's Layla.’
      • ‘I'm to ‘make sure’ justice prevails, and all that jazz.’
      • ‘Many people believe in fortune tellers and clairvoyants and all that jazz, but me, I'm just not sure.’
      • ‘He would rant and rave about capitalism and all that jazz, and basically he can be stereotyped as a Green party member.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • jazz something up

    • Make something more interesting, lively, or exciting.

      ‘jazz up an all-white kitchen with red tiles’
      • ‘On Nolte's track, the artist uses the melodic sounds of a xylophone to jazz things up a bit.’
      • ‘Its a horrible, sad place no matter how they try to jazz it up, and don't get me wrong its a nice place, in nice grounds with nice friendly staff.’
      • ‘Director Lee Tamahori tries to jazz things up with some flashy editing but can't disguise the fact that the 40-year-old formula is beginning to wear a little thin.’
      • ‘He believes bank branches can be jazzed up and transformed into places customers feel they genuinely want to visit.’
      • ‘He does not attempt to jazz things up with cloying camerawork and jarring technique in an effort to be stylish.’
      • ‘After painting the desk, jazz it up even further by adding funky new drawer pulls.’
      • ‘Caroline's Beauty Salon will also be on hand offering make-up tips for all you glamour gals looking to jazz it up for the festive season, while Richard Hannigan will be giving advise on all the latest trends in hair design.’
      • ‘I wasn't about to dumb it down or jazz it up to sell it to young people.’
      • ‘On her lips, I used pink and a natural lip gloss to jazz it up, although it was still a day look.’
      • ‘The time was right to reinvent the sandwich - or at least jazz it up.’
      enliven, liven up, brighten up, make more interesting, make more exciting, put some spirit into, make more attractive, add colour to, add some colour to, wake up, give a boost to, give a lift to, lift, ginger up
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 20th century: perhaps related to jism.

Pronunciation

jazz

/dʒaz/