verb (used with object)
- to excite or enliven.
- to accelerate.
verb (used without object)
- to add liveliness, vigor, or excitement to.
- to add ornamentation, color, or extra features to, in order to increase appeal or interest; embellish.
- to accelerate.
Origin of jazz
verb (tr, adverb) informal
- a kind of music of African-American origin, characterized by syncopated rhythms, solo and group improvisation, and a variety of harmonic idioms and instrumental techniques. It exists in a number of stylesCompare blues See also bebop, bop 1 (def. 1), Dixieland, free (def. 7), hard bop, harmolodics, mainstream (def. 2), modern jazz, New Orleans jazz, swing (def. 28), trad
- (as modifier)a jazz band
- (in combination)a jazzman
Word Origin for jazz
by 1912, American English, first attested in baseball slang; as a type of music, attested from 1913. Probably ultimately from Creole patois jass "strenuous activity," especially "sexual intercourse" but also used of Congo dances, from jasm (1860) "energy, drive," of African origin (cf. Mandingo jasi, Temne yas), also the source of slang jism.
If the truth were known about the origin of the word 'Jazz' it would never be mentioned in polite society. ["Étude," Sept. 1924]
All that jazz "et cetera" first recorded 1939.
"to speed or liven up," 1917, from jazz (n.). Related: jazzed; jazzing.
A form of American music that grew out of African-Americans' musical traditions at the beginning of the twentieth century. Jazz is generally considered a major contribution of the United States to the world of music. It quickly became a form of dance music, incorporating a “big beat” and solos by individual musicians. For many years, all jazz was improvised and taught orally, and even today jazz solos are often improvised. Over the years, the small groups of the original jazz players evolved into the “Big Bands” (led, for example, by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller), and finally into concert ensembles. Other famous jazz musicians include Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Enliven, make more interesting, as in They jazzed up the living room with a new rug, or They decided to include a comedy act to jazz up the program.
Modify so as to increase its performance, as in Peter wanted to jazz up his motorbike with a stronger engine. Both usages are colloquialisms from the mid-1900s. Also see juice up.