What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[sing-kuh-pey-shuh n, sin-] /ˌsɪŋ kəˈpeɪ ʃən, ˌsɪn-/
Music. a shifting of the normal accent, usually by stressing the normally unaccented beats.
something, as a rhythm or a passage of music, that is syncopated.
Also called counterpoint, counterpoint rhythm. Prosody. the use of rhetorical stress at variance with the metrical stress of a line of verse, as the stress on and and of in Come praise Colonus' horses and come praise/The wine-dark of the wood's intricacies.
Grammar, syncope.
Origin of syncopation
1525-35; < Medieval Latin syncopātiōn- (stem of syncopātiō), equivalent to Late Latin syncopāt(us) (see syncopate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonsyncopation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for syncopation
  • So far it is straightforward, with an occasional distracting filigree or sneaky syncopation.
  • He also plays at ragtime festivals, and gives concerts almost anywhere lovers of syncopation gather.
  • The study appears to be about whether people find syncopation surprising.
  • Aficionados can spot it by its syncopation and rhythmic complexity, with the rhythm articulated by the entire body.
  • The musicians were all jazz-based improvisers, but this music took them into a zone bereft of riffing and syncopation.
  • Others are trading multilayered syncopation for more basic rock rhythms.
  • He stations himself in a corner next to a giant garbage can, swiveling his hips and clapping in syncopation.
  • Parlous is a delicious example of linguistic syncopation.
  • We all watched him every day at the same time, experiencing it in a national syncopation.
  • Alex talked to us about syncopation, which is when a beat is divided into triplets.
British Dictionary definitions for syncopation


  1. the displacement of the usual rhythmic accent away from a strong beat onto a weak beat
  2. a note, beat, rhythm, etc, produced by syncopation
another word for syncope (sense 2)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for syncopation

1530s, "contraction of a word by omission of middle sounds," from Medieval Latin syncopationem (nominative syncopatio) "a shortening or contraction," from syncopare "to shorten," also "to faint away, to swoon," from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Musical sense is attested from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for syncopation

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for syncopation

Scrabble Words With Friends