[raz-uh l-daz-uh l]

noun Informal.

showiness, brilliance, or virtuosity in technique or effect, often without concomitant substance or worth; flashy theatricality: The razzle-dazzle of the essay's metaphors cannot disguise its shallowness of thought.
Chiefly Football. deceptive action typically consisting of a series of complex maneuvers, as a double reverse or hand-off, usually executed in a flashy manner: a team relying more on power and speed than razzle-dazzle.
confusion, commotion, or riotous gaiety.


impressively opulent or decorative, especially in a new way; showy; flashy; eye-catching: a shopping center lined with razzle-dazzle boutiques.
energetic, dynamic, or innovative: razzle-dazzle technology; a razzle-dazzle sales pitch.

Origin of razzle-dazzle

First recorded in 1890–95; rhyming compound based on dazzle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for razzle-dazzle

Contemporary Examples of razzle-dazzle

Historical Examples of razzle-dazzle

  • With a yellow ticket, again—but without any razzle-dazzle this time.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey

  • Perhaps if I'd told her the truth instead of all that razzle-dazzle we might—but, confound it!

  • That sneak I gave the razzle-dazzle to yesterday is in this.

    The Boy Scouts On The Range

    Lieut. Howard Payson

  • In the middle of this razzle-dazzle come another crash and a flood of light.

    Plain Mary Smith

    Henry Wallace Phillips

  • We thought how many people in their so-called Christian life are riding the razzle-dazzle.

British Dictionary definitions for razzle-dazzle


razzmatazz (ˈræzməˈtæz)


slang noisy or showy fuss or activity

Word Origin for razzle-dazzle

C19: rhyming compound based on dazzle
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

Word Origin and History for razzle-dazzle

1886, American English slang, varied reduplication of dazzle (q.v.).

My confrère, The Chevalier, last month gave a new name to the scarfs of disjointed pattern when he called them the razzle-dazzle. The name was evidently a hit of the most patent character, for in several avenue and Broadway stores the clerks have thrown out a display of broken figures before me and explained that the ruling style at present was the razzle-dazzle, and the word seems to have been equally effective with the public, for when it is quoted by the live salesman, the customer, I am told is at once interested and caught by it. ["Clothier and Furnisher" magazine, Jan. 1889]

Meaning "state of confusion" is from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper