Share this entry

syncopate Syllabification: syn·co·pate
Pronunciation: /ˈsiNGkəˌpāt/

Definition of syncopate in English:


[with object]
1 (usually as adjective syncopated) Displace the beats or accents in (music or a rhythm) so that strong beats become weak and vice versa: syncopated dance music
More example sentences
  • Intensity and loudness increases by the middle of the movement, with some sharp attacks by the strings, with drums and syncopated rhythms.
  • On ‘Galaxy,’ his mediocre lyrics persist, but the careful melodies and highly syncopated rhythms forgive any misdeeds.
  • It's pure Guinean syncopated rhythm and choral chanting, with lots of bells, horns, cymbals and traditional African instruments.
2Shorten (a word) by dropping sounds or letters in the middle, as in symbology for symbolology, or Gloster for Gloucester.
Example sentences
  • Nouns ending in d or g containing a long vowel or diphthong where that consonant is syncopated in the plural, preserve it in the diminutive.
  • If the adjective contains a long vowel or diphthong, the final /x/ is syncopated when /a/ is added and a diaeresis is applied.


Early 17th century: from late Latin syncopat- 'affected with syncope', from the verb syncopare 'to swoon' (see syncope).

  • This comes from late Latin syncopare ‘to swoon’. The notion of temporary loss of consciousness led to associations of weakening and strengthening of musical beats or omission of sounds.



Pronunciation: /ˌsiNGkəˈpāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • The syncopations available through this electro-extension were captivating, though Kim's performance was unfortunately marred by the multiple technical failures.
  • With its syncopations and constantly changing time signatures, the composition is a rare hybrid that sounds familiar in places and then twists and turns into something wholly original.
  • These are best listened to in dim lights, but are just fab anytime - fantastic harmonies and syncopations.


Pronunciation: /-ˌpātər/
Example sentences
  • ‘It's an interesting exercise,’ Mr. Tutt said, playing to a syncopator and a video monitor.
  • The anonymous slack-key syncopator imbues this movie with mysterious, tender qualities that don't exist in Wong's empty screenplay.
  • Then last, but certainly not least, Diamond enlisted the merengue influenced rhythmic portfolio of the renowned Puerto Rican syncopator, "Rico Dinaro".

Words that rhyme with syncopate

inculpate • extirpate

Definition of syncopate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person