[ rag-tahym ]
/ ˈrægˌtaɪm /

noun Music.

rhythm in which the accompaniment is strict two-four time and the melody, with improvised embellishments, is in steady syncopation.
a style of American music having this rhythm, popular from about 1890 to 1915.

Origin of ragtime

1895–1900; probably rag(ged) + time


rag·time·y, adjective

Definition for ragtime (2 of 2)

[ rag-tahym ]
/ ˈrægˌtaɪm /


a novel (1975) by E. L. Doctorow.
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Examples from the Web for ragtime

British Dictionary definitions for ragtime

/ (ˈræɡˌtaɪm) /


a style of jazz piano music, developed by Scott Joplin around 1900, having a two-four rhythm base and a syncopated melody

Word Origin for ragtime

C20: probably from ragged + time
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

Cultural definitions for ragtime


A style of early jazz music written largely for the piano in the early twentieth century, characterized by jaunty rhythms and a whimsical mood.

notes for ragtime

Scott Joplin was a famous composer and performer of ragtime.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.