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  1. Also called bebop. early modern jazz developed in the early 1940s and characterized by often dissonant triadic and chromatic chords, fast tempos and eccentric rhythms, intricate melodic lines punctuated by pop-tune phrases, and emphasizing the inventiveness of soloists.Compare cool jazz, hard bop, modern jazz, progressive jazz.
verb (used without object), bopped, bop·ping.
  1. Slang. to move, go, or proceed (often followed by on down): Let's bop on down to the party.

Origin of bop1

1945–50, Americanism; (be)bop


verb (used with object), bopped, bop·ping.
  1. to strike, as with the fist or a stick; hit.
  1. a blow.

Origin of bop2

First recorded in 1935–40; variant of bob3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bopping

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They had been perfectly normal juvenile delinquents, stealing cars and bopping a stray policeman or two.

    Occasion for Disaster

    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for bopping


  1. a form of jazz originating in the 1940s, characterized by rhythmic and harmonic complexity and instrumental virtuosityOriginally called: bebop
  2. informal a session of dancing to pop music
verb bops, bopping or bopped
  1. (intr) informal to dance to pop music
Derived Formsbopper, noun

Word Origin

C20: shortened from bebop


verb bops, bopping or bopped
  1. (tr) to strike; hit
  1. a blow

Word Origin

C19: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bopping



1948, shortening of bebop or rebop; as a verb, "play bop music, play (a song) in a bop style," from 1948. It soon came to mean "do any sort of dance to pop music" (1956). Related: Bopped; bopping.

The musical movement had its own lingo, which was in vogue in U.S. early 1950s. "Life" magazine [Sept. 29, 1952] listed examples of bop talk: crazy "new, wonderful, wildly exciting;" gone (adj.) "the tops--superlative of crazy;" cool (adj.) "tasty, pretty;" goof "to blow a wrong note or make a mistake;" hipster "modern version of hepcat;" dig "to understand, appreciate the subtleties of;" stoned "drunk, captivated, ecstatic, sent out of this world;" flip (v.) "to react enthusiastically." [Life Sept. 29, 1952]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper