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[raz-uh l-daz-uh l] /ˈræz əlˈdæz əl/
noun, Informal.
showiness, brilliance, or virtuosity in technique or effect, often without concomitant substance or worth; flashy theatricality:
The razzle-dazzle of the essay's metaphors cannot disguise its shallowness of thought.
Chiefly Football. deceptive action typically consisting of a series of complex maneuvers, as a double reverse or hand-off, usually executed in a flashy manner:
a team relying more on power and speed than razzle-dazzle.
confusion, commotion, or riotous gaiety.
impressively opulent or decorative, especially in a new way; showy; flashy; eye-catching:
a shopping center lined with razzle-dazzle boutiques.
energetic, dynamic, or innovative:
razzle-dazzle technology; a razzle-dazzle sales pitch.
Origin of razzle-dazzle
First recorded in 1890-95; rhyming compound based on dazzle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for razzle-dazzle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With a yellow ticket, again—but without any razzle-dazzle this time.

    Police Your Planet Lester del Rey
  • Perhaps if I'd told her the truth instead of all that razzle-dazzle we might—but, confound it!

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
  • That sneak I gave the razzle-dazzle to yesterday is in this.

    The Boy Scouts On The Range Lieut. Howard Payson
  • In the middle of this razzle-dazzle come another crash and a flood of light.

    Plain Mary Smith Henry Wallace Phillips
  • We thought how many people in their so-called Christian life are riding the razzle-dazzle.

    The Palm Tree Blessing W. E. Shepard
  • The razzle-dazzle of London doesn't appeal to a man much, when he's been on the bend in sea-ports.

    Aliens William McFee
  • He said that a razzle-dazzle was something like a merry-go-round, except that as it went round and round it also went up and down.

    The Palm Tree Blessing W. E. Shepard
British Dictionary definitions for razzle-dazzle


(slang) noisy or showy fuss or activity
Word Origin
C19: rhyming compound based on dazzle
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
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Word Origin and History for razzle-dazzle

1886, American English slang, varied reduplication of dazzle (q.v.).

My confrère, The Chevalier, last month gave a new name to the scarfs of disjointed pattern when he called them the razzle-dazzle. The name was evidently a hit of the most patent character, for in several avenue and Broadway stores the clerks have thrown out a display of broken figures before me and explained that the ruling style at present was the razzle-dazzle, and the word seems to have been equally effective with the public, for when it is quoted by the live salesman, the customer, I am told is at once interested and caught by it. ["Clothier and Furnisher" magazine, Jan. 1889]
Meaning "state of confusion" is from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for razzle-dazzle



: its razzle-dazzle weapons and command and control systems


: a razzledazzle quarterback


  1. Adroit deception; slick dodging and feinting; dipsy-doodle, razzmatazz: suspecting some sort of razzle-dazzle (1898+)
  2. Excitement; gaudiness; spectacular show: put razzle-dazzle into the grocery business (1889+)
  3. An exciting carnival ride (1935+ Carnival)

[probably a reduplication of dazzle]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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