Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A style of jazz characterized by elaborately syncopated rhythm in the melody and a steadily accented accompaniment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A musical form having a rhythm characterized by strong syncopation in the melody with a regularly accented accompaniment.
  • n. A piece of music in this style.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a rhythm with a regular accompaniment in two-four time and a melody characterized by syncopation, first recognized in many negro melodies; also a style of American music in this rhythm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In music, a rhythm or movement that has many irregular accents and jerky inversions of emphasis, similar to those described under Scotch catch or snap. The term appears to have been first used (as an adjective) of negro melodies of the southern United States, but it has been extended indiscriminately to all sorts of popular songs, often of a vulgar character.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. music with a syncopated melody (usually for the piano)

Etymologies

From rag4.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From ragged time according to the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Writing ragtime is one of those things that, for me at least, the more you do it, the longer it takes.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • There was little opportunity for the spirit of the place to return with its quietude and repose, for the man's voice, raised in ragtime song, still dominated the c├únon with possession.

    All Gold Cañon

  • He also is an excellent piano player, with a touch for Scott Joplin ragtime tunes, despite taking lessons for only two years.

    USATODAY.com - Team chemistry has been key for Sooners

  • There was little opportunity for the spirit of the place to return with its quietude and repose, for the man's voice, raised in ragtime song, still dominated the canyon with possession.

    All Gold Canyon

  • Many discovered pianos and invented a music called ragtime that set millions of white feet dancing.

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • The number of incidents have dropped dramatically compared to the last elite eight game, where police made hundreds of arrests. ha passed by a bar in arlington (VA) called ragtime, which happenned to be the rally point for the WVU faithful.

    Every Day Should Be Saturday

  • When the new musical form spread out into the country at large over the next few decades, the menstrual meaning was left off, and now 'nobody knows' why it is called 'ragtime'.

    WHO WERE THE WITCHES?

  • Think of what an awesome 'ragtime' sic band you could hire for that kinda money.

    Peter Jackson's $100,000 robot band

  • It similarly dispenses with any firm rhyming pattern, relying solely on the assonances contained in "ragtime" and "county line."

    The Annotated "Ramble On Rose"

  • Dunne and Ryley's musical comedy success, "By the Sad Sea Waves," which he helped write and stage, introducing "ragtime," now known as "Jazz," to America in nearly every city of over 5,000 population.

    The Art of Stage Dancing The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession

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