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[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.
1895-1900; probably rag(ged) + time
Related forms
ragtimey, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ragtimey


a style of jazz piano music, developed by Scott Joplin around 1900, having a two-four rhythm base and a syncopated melody
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for ragtimey
"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
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ragtimey in Culture

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.
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Slang definitions & phrases for ragtimey



: a ragtime classic


Ahighly syncopated style of music, esp for the piano, having a heavily accented tempo and a melody consisting of many short rapid notes (1897+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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