Meaning of “jazz” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"jazz" in British English

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jazznoun [ U ]

uk /dʒæz/ us /dʒæz/

A2 a type of modern music originally developed by African-Americans, with a rhythm in which the strong notes often come before the beat. Jazz is usually improvised (= invented as it is played).


  • I've never really gone in for classical music, but I love jazz.
  • The famous jazz musician, Duke Ellington, was a composer, arranger and pianist.
  • I wish there was more jazz on the radio.
  • The drums and double bass usually form the rhythm section of a jazz group.
  • They booked a jazz band for their wedding.

Examples from literature

  • An important part of jazz is improvisation. For part of the song, all the musicians play their instruments together. 
  • It is the home of jazz music. 
  • The African-American musicians in New Orleans took these different kinds of music and mixed them with African rhythms to make a new music – jazz. 
  • This trumpet player from New Orleans is often called the father of jazz improvisation. 

(Definition of “jazz” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"jazz" in American English

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jazznoun [ U ]

us /dʒæz/

a type of music of African-American origin with a strong rhythm in which the players improvise (= invent music that has not been written)

(Definition of “jazz” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)