- music originating in New Orleans around the beginning of the 20th century and subsequently developing through various increasingly complex styles, generally marked by intricate, propulsive rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, improvisatory, virtuosic solos, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism through chromaticism to atonality.
- a style of dance music, popular especially in the 1920s, arranged for a large band and marked by some of the features of jazz.
- dancing or a dance performed to such music, as with violent bodily motions and gestures.
- Slang. liveliness; spirit; excitement.
- Slang. insincere, exaggerated, or pretentious talk: Don't give me any of that jazz about your great job!
- Slang. similar or related but unspecified things, activities, etc.: He goes for fishing and all that jazz.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of jazz.
- to play (music) in the manner of jazz.
- to excite or enliven.
- to accelerate.
- Slang: Vulgar. to copulate with.
- to dance to jazz music.
- to play or perform jazz music.
- Informal. to act or proceed with great energy or liveliness.
- Slang: Vulgar. to copulate.
- jazz up, Informal.
- 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
- to imbue (a piece of music) with jazz qualities, esp by improvisation or a quicker tempo
- to make more lively, gaudy, or appealing
- 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
- informal enthusiasm or liveliness
- slang rigmarole; paraphernalialegal papers and all that jazz
- African-American slang, obsolete sexual intercourse
- Southern African slang a dance
- (intr) to play or dance to jazz music
- African-American slang, obsolete to have sexual intercourse with (a person)
Word Origin and History for jazz up
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.
Idioms and Phrases with jazz up
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.