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[sing-kuh-pey-tid, sin-] /ˈsɪŋ kəˌpeɪ tɪd, ˈsɪn-/
marked by syncopation:
syncopated rhythm.
cut short; abbreviated.
Origin of syncopated
1655-65; < Late Latin syncopāt(us) (see syncopate) + -ed2
Related forms
unsyncopated, adjective


[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.
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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for syncopated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The "time-step" and "break" must be perfectly timed to the syncopated rhythm.

  • If you can set his work to syncopated time he seems never to tire of it.

    The Railroad Problem Edward Hungerford
  • Notes occurring an entire beat of the prescribed time are, when syncopated, to be played between the beats.

    Piano Playing Josef Hofmann
  • Every voice was independent, and syncopated as were the rhythms.

    Franz Liszt James Huneker
  • A tumult of voices leaped out to him when she opened the door—a lilting crash of syncopated melody.

  • It was the same tune, curious, syncopated and piercing the night shrilly.

    The Shades of the Wilderness Joseph A. Altsheler
  • When the syncopated note belongs to the harmony of the measure, it may be left by a skip or stepwise progression.

  • Tollan is but a syncopated form of Tonatlan, the Place of the Sun.

    American Hero-Myths Daniel G. Brinton
  • As he drifted away on a sea of syncopated bliss, the car, subconsciously driven, closed upon the marching 26 minstrels.

    The Triumph of Virginia Dale John Francis, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for syncopated


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 syncopated



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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