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[sing-kuh-peyt, sin-] /ˈsɪŋ kəˌpeɪt, ˈsɪn-/
verb (used with object), syncopated, syncopating.
  1. to place (the accents) on beats that are normally unaccented.
  2. to treat (a passage, piece, etc.) in this way.
Grammar. to contract (a word) by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in reducing Gloucester to Gloster.
Origin of syncopate
First recorded in 1595-1605, syncopate is from the Medieval Latin word syncopātus (past participle of syncopāre to shorten by syncope). See syncope, -ate1
Related forms
syncopator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for syncopate


verb (transitive)
(music) to modify or treat (a beat, rhythm, note, etc) by syncopation
to shorten (a word) by omitting sounds or letters from the middle
Derived Forms
syncopator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin syncopāre to omit a letter or syllable, from Late Latin syncopasyncope
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 syncopate

c.1600, from Late Latin syncopatus, past participle of syncopare "to shorten," also "to faint away, to swoon," from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Originally "to shorten words by omitting syllables or letters in the middle;" musical sense is from 1660s. Related: Syncopated; syncopating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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