rag time


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.

1895–1900; probably rag(ged) + time

ragtimey, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged


a novel (1975) by E. L. Doctorow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To rag time
World English Dictionary
ragtime (ˈræɡˌtaɪm)
a style of jazz piano music, developed by Scott Joplin around 1900, having a two-four rhythm base and a syncopated melody
[C20: probably from ragged + time]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"syncopated, jazzy piano music," 1897 (in song title "Mississippi Rag" by W.H. Krell), from rag "dance ball (1895, Amer.Eng. dialect), possibly a shortening of ragged, in reference to the rhythmic imbalance.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

ragtime definition

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

Note: Scott Joplin was a famous composer and performer of ragtime.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature